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[Elastofibroma in the scapular region. A case report and review of the literature].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service d'OrthopĂ©die traumatologie, HĂ´pital Universitaire Dupuytren, 2 avenue Martin Luther King 87042 Limoges cedex, France.



We report a case of elastofibroma and have collected 280 cases in the literature.


A 56 year-old man presented with a right subscapular mass. The patient was asymptomatic but he reported a "clicking"sensation associated with mobilization of the shoulder. Physical examination revealed a round mass clearly demonstrated with forward elevation of the arm. The MRI scan showed a heterogeneous soft tissue composed of inhomogeneous density with areas of more intense signal suggesting adipose tissue. The tumor was surgically excised and the diagnosis of elastofibroma was established by histopathologic examination.


Six months after removal of the mass, there were no functional complications.


Elastofibromas usually occur in active patients generally older than 55 years of age. They are typically located in the right subscapular region. The tumor remains asymptomatic in more than 50 percent of cases. 25 percent of the patients may report a simple discomfort sometimes with a "clicking" or "catching" sensation associated with mobilization of the arm. Pain is present in less than 10 percent of cases. Physical examination may reveal a rubbery, asymptomatic mass located in the subscapular region and barely noticable when the arm lies again the chest. Plain radiographs and preoperative laboratory data were unremarkable. CT scan or MRI scan may show an heterogeneous fibrous mass of intermediate density with entrapped signals of higher intensity. However, a definitive diagnosis requires a biopsy showing the distinctive feature of elastofibroma: elastic fibers in a collagenized fibrous tissue with entrapped adipose tissue. Pathogenesis of elastofibromas may result from the friction of the scapula against the thorax thus generating tumor growth.


Complete surgical excision in symptomatic patients is considered to be the treatment of choice. However, once the diagnosis of elastofibroma has been established, excision of lesions smaller than 5 cm can be avoided in asymptomatic patients.

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