Symmetric lipomas of the neck

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SOLITARY lipomas frequently develop throughout the body, but symmetric lipomas are rare. In 1888, Madelung1 reported on symmetric lipomatosis in the neck, chin, and trunk, and since that time the condition has been reported infrequently.2–6 The patients have each had a characteristic accumulation of fat in the cervical region, and in some patients there have been accumulations in the breasts, axillae, and groins. The lumps are usually painless, and patients may seek medical advice for cosmetic reasons. The etiology of benign symmetric lipomatosis is obscure. A high intake of alcohol in association with symmetric lipomatosis has been noted in some of the reports; to our knowledge no women have had this condition.

Our report concerns three patients with this kind of lipomatosis, two of whom underwent surgical treatment.

Report of cases

Case 1. A 53-year-old man was examined at the Cleveland Clinic on February 26, 1964, because of cerebellar degeneration and vestibular vertigo. He had been both a heavy drinker and a heavy smoker.

The physical examination revealed multiple soft bulky tumors situated in the jaw, neck, upper arms, and breasts (Fig. 1 A), and the only symptom was discomfort in both arms, with abduction to 90 degrees. Serum lipid analysis was not performed.

The patient was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic Hospital and underwent surgical removal of lipomas in the arms and the neck; the results are shown in Figure 1 B.

Case 2. A 62-year-old man was first examined at the Cleveland Clinic on December 4, 1964. He . . .



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