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J Cutan Pathol. 2004 Sep;31(8):565-7.

Pseudotumoral encapsulated fat necrosis with diffuse pseudomembranous degeneration.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Hospital Donostia, Paseo Dr Begiristain s/n 20014 San Sebasti├ín, Spain.


An extraordinary case of encapsulated fat necrosis characterized by its large size, diffuse formation of pseudomembranes, and tendency to recur after excision is reported. A 67-year-old Caucasian woman suffering from morbid obesity was admitted for diagnosis and surgical treatment of a soft tissue mass showing a longest diameter of 14 cm and lying adjacently to the scar from previous appendicectomy. Histopathologic features were consistent with a nodular-cystic encapsulated fat necrosis with diffuse pseudomembranous transformation. Eight months after surgery, a new larger mass (longest diameter of 18 cm) sharing identical histopathologic features appeared in the same location. Encapsulated fat necrosis is a well-defined entity even though several names have been proposed for this condition, including mobile encapsulated lipoma, encapsulated necrosis, or nodular-cystic fat necrosis. Its pathogenesis seems to be related to ischemic changes secondary to previous trauma. It may occasionally show degenerative changes, including dystrophic calcifications and presence of pseudomembranes. To our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of encapsulated fat necrosis presenting as lesions of such size and showing diffuse formation of pseudomembranes; these particular features made diagnosis difficult and led to consideration of a wide range of potential diagnostic possibilities. This case expands the clinico-pathologic spectrum of membranocystic fat necrosis, including the potential ability of this subcutaneous fatty tissue abnormality to recur after surgical excision. Felipo F, Vaquero M, del Agua C. Pseudotumoral encapsulated fat necrosis with diffuse pseudomembranous degeneration.

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