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Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 184-186

Pleomorphic lipoma of the neck in an infant: A rare clinical entity

1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Advanced Pediatric Centre, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Punjab, India
2 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab, India
3 Consultant Neonatologist and Pediatrician, Department of Pediatrics, King Fahad Central Hospital, Jizan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication8-Jun-2017

Correspondence Address:
Nitin James Peters
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Advanced Pediatric Surgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaps.JIAPS_17_17

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Lipomas are rare in the pediatric age group. A 10-month-old male child presented with an asymptomatic neck mass which was evaluated and excised completely. Histopathology was consistent with pleomorphic lipoma, not previously reported in children.

Keywords: Neck masses, pleomorphic lipoma, surgical resection

How to cite this article:
Samujh R, Peters NJ, Chhabra A, Almudeer AH. Pleomorphic lipoma of the neck in an infant: A rare clinical entity. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2017;22:184-6

How to cite this URL:
Samujh R, Peters NJ, Chhabra A, Almudeer AH. Pleomorphic lipoma of the neck in an infant: A rare clinical entity. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Sep 24];22:184-6. Available from: http://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2017/22/3/184/207631

   Introduction Top

Neck masses are common in children. They include congenital lesions and their complications. Other masses include lymphadenopathy, vascular, inflammatory, and malignant lesions.[1] Tuberculosis remains another suspect in our part of the world. Lipomas are rare in children and mostly occur in the posterior triangle of the neck.[2] Pleomorphic lipomas are rare variants of spindle cell lipoma occurring in men in the seventh and eight decades.[3] An extensive literature search shows no reported cases in children. We report the first case of pleomorphic lipoma, in the pediatric population to the best of our knowledge.

   Case Report Top

A 10month-old male child was brought to the hospital with a lump on the right side of the neck noticed for the past 3–4 days. There was no history of fever, pain, and loss of appetite. There was no history of any recent viral illness, similar lesions in the family. There was no history of tuberculosis contact. There was no history of hoarseness of voice, dysphagia, or respiratory distress.

On examination, the patient was active, alert, and playful. A 5 cm × 4 cm lump noted in the right lower cervical region which was nontender, firm in consistency, and slight mobile in lateral directions with normal overlying skin. No significant lymphadenopathy was noted elsewhere in the body.

Contrast-enhanced computed tomography neck showed a well-defined heterogeneously enhancing mass measuring 4.3 × 4.5 × 2.7 (CC × AP × TR) in the right posterior triangle of the neck with few hypodense areas within it. Two well-defined intensely enhancing areas are seen along with the inferior-medial aspect of the lesion suggestive of pseudoaneurysm. The lesion was extending from level of C3 to T1 vertebra. Fat planes with the overlying right sternocleidomastoid were reported as lost with external contour bulge. The lesion was abutting and displacing the right internal jugular vein medially and mild chinking. The right common carotid and trachea are displaced to the right. No bony erosions or intraspinal extensions were noted. Mediastinal, chest, and abdominal scans were normal [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Computed tomography scan image sagittal view showing well-defined, heterogeneously enhancing mass measuring 4.3 × 4.5 × 2.7 (CC × AP × TR) in the right posterior triangle of the neck with few hypodense areas within it

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Preoperative fine-needle aspiration cytology revealed scant cellularity, with large atypical cells with single to multiple nuclei. The nuclei were lobulated and had multiple prominent nucleoli. The findings were suggestive of undifferentiated malignancy and further excision biopsy was advised.

The patient was taken up for excision of mass under general anesthesia. The right supraclavicular incision was given and the tumor was found to be deep to the cervical fascia. Both heads of sternocleidomastoid were divided and the tumor was excised completely. Hemostasis was achieved and the wound was closed in layers. After a 2 years follow up, the patient is asymptomatic and doing well.

On histopathology, there was a well-encapsulated tumor showing a mixture of the mature adipocytes and spindle cells with a few cystic spaces [Figure 2]a and [Figure 2]b. Higher magnification showed multinucleated floret cells and bizarre cells [Figure 2]c. The tumor cells are positive for CD34 immunohistochemically [Figure 2]d.
Figure 2: A well-encapsulated tumor (a, ×20) showing admiture of mature adipocytes and spindle cells with a few cystic spaces (b, ×100). Higher magnification showing multinucleated floret cells and bizzare cells, (c, ×400). The tumor cells are positive for CD34 immunohistochemically, (d, ×200)

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   Discussion Top

Pleomorphic lipoma was first described by Smookler and Enzinger in 1981, soon after the description of spindle cell lipoma.[4],[5] It may be considered as a variant of the spindle cell lipoma. These tumors are rare, and around 150 have been reported in the literature so far.[6] However, this tumor has always been seen in older men ranging with a median of over 55 years.[3] This is the first case report in the pediatric age group.

Pleomorphic lipoma commonly occurs in the posterior neck, shoulder, and back. Infrequently, it may be seen in the tongue, orbit, palms, and vulva.[4] It typically arises from the subcutis of the neck, as a slow growing mass, which requires an average period of 3.3 years to be diagnosed.[7]

Fine-needle aspiration is a first-line investigation in evaluating subcutaneous lesions in the head and neck. However, pleomorphic lipoma can masquerade as a malignancy on fine-needle aspiration; therefore, histological confirmation should be obtained before definitive therapy.[8],[9]

Although pleomorphic lipoma mimics various soft tissue tumors, it can be recognized or suspected on morphologic grounds. The clue to the diagnosis are: (1) Predominantly located in the subcutis or dermis of the posterior neck, upper back, and shoulders. (2) Variable amount of adult fat, rarely fat-free, and no lipoblasts. (3) Atypical cells ranging from rare to frequent. (4) Bundles of dense rope-like collagen. (5) Possible myxoid stroma. (6) CD34-positivity, usually extensive.[10] In addition, multinucleated giant cells are scattered amid the spindle cells, and their nuclei are radically arranged in a “floret-like” pattern.[2],[3] The spectrum of the histology shows a wide variation and varies from tumor(s) that resembles ordinary lipoma with few spindle cells to tumor that mainly consists of spindle cells with just a few fat cells. Cytologically, spindle cells have single elongated hyperchromatic nuclei and inconspicuous nucleoli, whereas multinucleated giant cells have irregular, hyperchromatic, and significantly atypical nuclei. The mitoses of the two cell types are rare. Some lesions may have extensive myxoid stroma, which can be a dominant feature and pose a diagnostic challenge.

The treatment is surgical excision with clear margins, as simple enucleation may lead to recurrences.

   Conclusion Top

Common differential diagnosis of neck masses in children, which include congenital malformations, lymph nodes followed by malignant lesions need to be entertained initially. Pleomorphic lipoma should be kept in mind as a rare differential diagnosis in children. It is a benign pseudosarcomatous soft tissue neoplasm that can mimic various malignancies. The detailed histopathological analysis is required for a diagnosis which prevents disfiguring surgery.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Turkington JR, Paterson A, Sweeney LE, Thornbury GD. Neck masses in children. Br J Radiol 2005;78:75-85.  Back to cited text no. 1
Swischuk LE, John SD. Neck masses in infants and children. Radiol Clin North Am 1997;35:1329-40.  Back to cited text no. 2
Lin XY, Wang Y, Liu Y, Sun Y, Miao Y, Zhang Y, et al. Pleomorphic lipoma lacking mature fat component in extensive myxoid stroma: A great diagnostic challenge. Diagn Pathol 2012;7:155.  Back to cited text no. 3
Shmookler BM, Enzinger FM. Pleomorphic lipoma: A benign tumor simulating liposarcoma. A clinicopathologic analysis of 48 cases. Cancer 1981;47:126-33.  Back to cited text no. 4
Enzinger FM, Harvey DA. Spindle cell lipoma. Cancer 1975;36:1852-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
Yencha MW, Hodge JJ. Pleomorphic lipoma: Case report and literature review. Dermatol Surg 2000;26:375-80.  Back to cited text no. 6
Persichetti P, Di Lella F, Marangi GM, Cagli B, Simone P, Tenna S, et al. Pleomorphic Lipoma: A Definite Histopathological Entity. Anticancer Res 2004;24:3157-60.  Back to cited text no. 7
Rigby HS, Wilson YG, Cawthorn SJ, Ibrahim NB. Fine needle aspiration of pleomorphic lipoma: A potential pitfall of cytodiagnosis. Cytopathology 1993;4:55-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
Dundas KE, Wong MP, Suen KC. Two unusual benign lesions of the neck masquerading as malignancy on fine-needle aspiration cytology. Diagn Cytopathol 1995;12:272-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
Wang L, Liu Y, Zhang D, Zhang Y, Tang N, Wang EH. A case of 'fat-free' pleomorphic lipoma occurring in the upper back and axilla simultaneously. World J Surg Oncol 2013;11:145.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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