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synovial lipoma arborescens

Tuesday 1 June 2010

lipoma arborescens; intra-articular lipoma arborescens; villous lipomatous proliferation of synovial membrane, diffuse lipoma of joint; synovial lipomatosis; synovial lipomatosis arborescens


Definition: Intra-articular lipoma arborescens (LA) is a fatty infiltration of subsynovial connective tissue in a large joint. It rarely affects synovial sheaths of tendons.

It is a rare entity that can present with monoarticular or polyarticular involvement of joints such as knees, ankles, hips, shoulders, and elbows.


- Intra-articular lipoma arborescens (LA)

Clinical synopsis

- intermittent pain
- swelling
- joint effusion


- hypertrophic villous projections of fat lined by synovial cells,
- variable scattered inflammatory cells
- diffuse yellow soft tissue synovial papillary growth
- synovial villous proliferations with hyperplasia of mature fat cells
- congested hyperemic capillaries
- chronic inflammatory cells within the subsynovial tissue
- hyperplasia of mature fat cells of the subsynovial tissue
- congested hyperemic capillaries
- chronic inflammatory cells

Differential diagnosis

- synovial lipoma


- Synovectomy


- May recur since often, as it is a reactive process.

See also

- synovial lipomatosis


- The role of magnetic resonance imaging for the diagnosis of lipoma arborescens in polyarthritic patients with persistent single-joint effusion. Nguyen C, Jean-Luc BB, Papelard A, Poiraudeau S, Revel M, Rannou F. J Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Dec;15(8):431. PMID: 19956008

- Synovial lipomatosis of the knee in an adolescent girl. Bansal M, Changulani M, Shukla R, Sampath J. Orthopedics. 2008 Feb;31(2):185. PMID: 19292183

- Synovial lipomatosis of hindfoot tendon sheaths: case reports and literature review. Jowett C, Mitra P, O’Donnell P, Singh DS. Foot Ankle Int. 2008 Jul;29(7):752-5. PMID: 18785430

- Synovial lipomatosis arborescens of the peroneal tendon sheath. Vinson EN, Dodd LG, Merian M, Martinez S. Skeletal Radiol. 2008 Oct;37(10):947-50. PMID: 18682928

- Lipoma arborescens of the glenohumeral joint: a possible cause of osteoarthritis. In Y, Chun KA, Chang ED, Lee SM. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2008 Aug;16(8):794-6. PMID: 18270682

- Lipoma arborescens of the suprapatellar bursa and extensor digitorum longus tendon sheath: report of 2 cases. Senocak E, Gurel K, Gurel S, Ozturan KE, Cakici H, Yilmaz F, Boran C. J Ultrasound Med. 2007 Oct;26(10):1427-33. PMID: 17901145

- Inflammatory synovitis due to underlying lipoma arborescens (gadolinium-enhanced MRI features): report of two cases. Ragab Y, Emad Y, Banakhar A. Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Oct;26(10):1791-4. PMID: 17225055

- Lipoma arborescens of the knee. Davies AP, Blewitt N. Knee. 2005 Oct;12(5):394-6. PMID: 16005236

- Lipoma arborescens affecting multiple joints. Bejia I, Younes M, Moussa A, Said M, Touzi M, Bergaoui N. Skeletal Radiol. 2005 Sep;34(9):536-8. Epub 2005 Mar 22. PMID: 15782340

- Lipoma arborescens (diffuse articular lipomatosis). Yildiz C, Deveci MS, Ozcan A, Saraçoğlu HI, Erler K, Basbozkurt M. J South Orthop Assoc. 2003 Fall;12(3):163-6. PMID: 14577726

- Synovial lipomatosis (lipoma arborescens) affecting multiple joints in a patient with congenital short bowel syndrome. Siva C, Brasington R, Totty W, Sotelo A, Atkinson J. J Rheumatol. 2002 May;29(5):1088-92. PMID: 12022328

- Synovial neoformations and tumours. Szendrói M, Deodhar A. Baillieres Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2000 Jun;14(2):363-83. PMID: 10925750

- Pathological case of the month. Synovial lipomatosis. Kakkar N, Vasishta RK, Anand H. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Feb;153(2):203-4. PMID: 9988254