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Pleural lipoma - radiologystar

What Is Pleural lipoma?


Pleural lipoma is a rare benign (non-cancerous) tumor that develops in the pleura, which is the thin, double-layered membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the chest cavity. A lipoma is a type of tumor composed of fat cells.

Pleural lipomas are generally slow-growing and asymptomatic, meaning they do not cause noticeable symptoms in most cases. They are often discovered incidentally during imaging tests performed for other reasons, such as chest X-rays or CT scans.


Symptoms  Of Pleural Lipoma.

Most patients with pleural lipoma are asymptomatic, meaning they do not experience any symptoms. In fact, pleural lipomas are often discovered incidentally during chest imaging studies, such as a chest X-ray, CT scan, or MRI, that were performed for another reason.

However, in rare cases, when the tumor grows to a large size or compresses surrounding structures, it may cause symptoms such as:

A) Chest pain:- Pleural lipoma may cause chest pain if it compresses the nerves or muscles in the chest wall.

B) Shortness of breath:- A large pleural lipoma may compress the lungs or diaphragm, leading to shortness of breath.

C) Cough:- A pleural lipoma may stimulate cough receptors if it is located near the airways.

D) Fever:- If the pleural lipoma becomes infected, it may lead to fever.

E) Difficulty swallowing:- A pleural lipoma in the thoracic esophagus may cause difficulty swallowing.


Diagnosis Of Pleural Lipoma.

The diagnosis of pleural lipoma usually involves a combination of imaging studies and biopsy.


A) Imaging studies:- Imaging tests are crucial for visualizing and confirming the presence of a pleural lipoma. The most commonly used imaging modalities include:

— Chest X-ray:- A simple chest X-ray may reveal the presence of a pleural-based mass or abnormality, although it may not provide enough detail to confirm a lipoma definitively.

pleural lipoma



— Computed Tomography (CT) scan:- A CT scan provides detailed cross-sectional images of the chest, allowing for a more precise evaluation of the size, location, and characteristics of the suspected lipoma. CT scans can help differentiate lipomas from other types of pleural tumors.


Pleural lipoma

Pleural lipoma


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):- MRI may be used in certain cases to further assess the characteristics of the lipoma, especially if there are concerns about the precise location or involvement of adjacent structures.


— Biopsy or fine-needle aspiration (FNA):-  In some instances, if the diagnosis is uncertain or if there is a suspicion of malignancy, a biopsy or fine-needle aspiration may be performed. These procedures involve removing a small sample of tissue from the lipoma for microscopic examination to confirm the diagnosis.


Treatment OF Pleural Lipoma.

Most pleural lipomas are benign, slow-growing tumors that do not require treatment. However, if the tumor grows to a large size or causes symptoms, treatment may be necessary. The treatment options for pleural lipoma include:

A) Observation:- If the pleural lipoma is small, asymptomatic, and not causing any complications, the doctor may recommend monitoring the tumor with regular imaging studies, such as chest X-rays or CT scans.

B) Surgery:- If the pleural lipoma is large, causing symptoms, or compressing nearby structures, surgery may be necessary. The surgical approach may vary depending on the location and size of the tumor. In some cases, the tumor can be removed using minimally invasive techniques such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), which involves making small incisions in the chest and using a camera to remove the tumor. In other cases, an open surgery may be required to remove the tumor.


C) Radiation therapy:- Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells. Although pleural lipoma is not cancerous, radiation therapy may be used in certain cases to shrink the tumor or alleviate symptoms.




Q) Can lipoma turn into a tumor?

It is very rare for lipomas to turn into a cancerous sarcoma.

Q) Can lipomas cause problems?

Millions of people live with lipomas. They can be annoying and unsightly, but they don’t usually cause problems. Most lipomas don’t need treatment. But if a lipoma causes pain or you’re concerned about its size or location, see your provider.

Q) What are 3 complications of lipoma?

Patients with esophageal lipomas can present with obstruction, dysphagia, regurgitation, vomiting, and reflux; esophageal lipomas can be associated with aspiration and consecutive respiratory infections.

Q) Can lipoma be seen in chest x-ray?

Large lipomas may appear as a radiolucency on radiographs, but the finding is not diagnostic.

Q) How do you treat a lipoma without surgery?

Changing your diet may be effective for people with lipoma.

Q) How is a lipoma removed?

Most lipomas are removed surgically by cutting them out.




BOOK LINK :- Radiographic Pathology for Technologists 8th

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