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Angiolipoma in Adult
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Angiolipoma in Adult

Contributors: Rajini Murthy MD, Belinda Tan MD, PhD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Angiolipomas are benign soft tissue tumors composed of adipocytes. Clinically, they resemble lipomas, but they may be slightly firmer on palpation. While lipomas are typically asymptomatic, angiolipomas can be tender or painful. Angiolipomas differ from lipomas in their composition because they include vascular and neural elements. Angiolipomas are usually less than 2 cm in size and may be solitary or multiple. They are most commonly found on the forearms, but they may also occur on the trunk or upper arms. Approximately 5% of angiolipomas are familial, most often following an autosomal recessive transmission pattern.

Symptomatic angiolipomas have been noted to appear with the initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV patients. This may be associated with fat redistribution that has been observed with protease inhibitors.

Extracutaneous angiolipomas may also occur. They may be found in the kidneys in association with tuberous sclerosis. They account for less than 1% of spinal tumors, in which case they may be associated with spina bifida.


D17.9 – Benign lipomatous neoplasm, unspecified

404057003 – Angiolipoma

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Lipomas usually are not tender or painful.
  • Epidermoid cyst (epidermal inclusion cysts) have a characteristic overlying punctum.
Differential diagnosis of painful benign tumors:
  • Blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome
  • Adiposis dolorosa
  • Endometrioma
  • Glomus tumor
  • Cutaneous leiomyoma
  • Granular cell tumor
  • Solitary neurofibroma
  • Cutaneous neuroma
  • Hibernoma – These are often large, persistent lipomatous lesions on the neck, back, or axilla. Biopsy is necessary for definitive diagnosis.
  • Skin bacterial abscess – One would expect to see accompanying erythema and induration.
  • Liposarcoma
  • Metastatic malignancy is usually much firmer to the touch.

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Reviewed:01/17/2021
Last Updated:01/24/2021
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Angiolipoma in Adult
A medical illustration showing key findings of Angiolipoma : Forearm, Trunk, Painful skin lesion
Clinical image of Angiolipoma - imageId=706754. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A close-up of a subcutaneous nodule.'
A close-up of a subcutaneous nodule.
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