Paravertebral Osteolipoma

Article information

Asian Spine J. 2015;9(6):997-998
Publication date (electronic) : 2015 December 08
doi :
1Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Aksaz Military Hospital, Marmaris, Turkey.
2Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Balikesir University Hospital, Balikesir, Turkey.
Corresponding author: Selahattin Ozyurek. Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Aksaz Military Hospital, 48700 Marmaris, Mugla, Turkey. Tel: +90-252-4210161, Fax: +90-252-412-1877,
Received 2015 May 04; Accepted 2015 May 05.

Dear Editor,

We read with great interest the case report entitled "Cervical paravertebral osteolipoma: case report and literature review" in the issue of Asian Spine J 2015;9(2):290-4 [1]. We would like to congratulate the authors for their analysis of this complex and challenging case.

However, we have some concerns regarding the case report and wish to share them. Osteolipoma, a lipoma with osseous metaplasia, is a very rare histological variant accounting for less than 1% of all lipomas [234]. It is seen in many anatomic sites, including the scapula, vertebral spine, neck, skull, suprasellar region, and tuber cinereum [234].

The differential diagnosis of osteolipoma also includes liposarcoma which is not mentioned in the article. Results of magnetic resonance imaging evaluation of 126 consecutive fatty masses by Gaskin and Helms [5] showed that osteolipoma may mimic well-differentiated liposarcomas, from which they are often hard to differentiate on imaging alone. Differentiation and definitive diagnosis of the osteolipoma can be done with histopathologic examination and treatment is by surgical excision. In addition, the identification of histological subtypes in already known variants of lipoma, such as low-fat and fat free spindle cell lipomas, highlight the importance for careful microscopic evaluation of these tumors [1234].

As a conclusion we are of the opinion that the diagnosis of osteolipoma is not straightforward, and complete surgical resection is the treatment of choice. Like conventional lipomas, the prognosis of osteolipoma is favorable, but lesions should be monitored carefully and postoperative close monitoring with long-term follow-up is recommended, as there is only a minority of relevant clinical information about this rare tumor.

Again we appreciate the authors' work, which adds to our knowledge of this difficult clinical problem.


Conflict of Interest: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


1. Guirro P, Salo G, Molina A, Llado A, Puig-Verdie L, Ramirez-Valencia M. Cervical paravertebral osteolipoma: case report and literature review. Asian Spine J 2015;9:290–294. 25901244.
2. Yang JS, Kang SH, Cho YJ, Choi HJ. Pure intramuscular osteolipoma. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 2013;54:518–520. 24527197.
3. Adebiyi KE, Ugboko VI, Maaji SM, Ndubuizu G. Osteolipoma of the palate: report of a case and review of the literature. Niger J Clin Pract 2011;14:242–244. 21860148.
4. Bajpai M, Kumar M, Agarwal D, Agrawal S, Gupta S, Kumar M. Osteolipoma of the palate: an unusual presentation. Natl J Maxillofac Surg 2014;5:250–251. 25937752.
5. Gaskin CM, Helms CA. Lipomas, lipoma variants, and well-differentiated liposarcomas (atypical lipomas): results of MRI evaluations of 126 consecutive fatty masses. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2004;182:733–739. 14975977.

Article information Continued