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Angiolipoma pathology

Author: Assoc Prof Patrick Emanuel, Dermatopathologist, Auckland, New Zealand, 2013.

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Angiolipoma is a relatively common benign subcutaneous lesion. They often occur in multiplicity. As no genetic abnormality has been found many believe it is best considered a hamartoma rather than a true neoplasm.

Histology of angiolipoma

Sections through angiolipoma show nonseptate fat with peripheral congeries of small capillaries (figure 1). Some of the capillaries are plugged with fibrin thrombi (figure 2).

Sometimes, there are only rare adipocytes admixed with numeous capillaries (“cellular angiolipoma”).

Angiolipoma pathology

Special studies for angiolipoma

None are generally needed.

Differential diagnosis of angiolipoma pathology

Cellular lesions and angiolipomas with massive intravascular thrombosis may be confused with rarer vascular lesions (such as kaposiform haemangioendothelioma).



  • Weedon’s Skin Pathology (Third edition, 2010). David Weedon
  • Pathology of the Skin (Fourth edition, 2012). McKee PH, J. Calonje JE, Granter SR

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