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CASE REPORT   

Minerva Stomatologica 1999 January-February;48(1-2):23-8

Copyright © 1998 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Giant cervicomediastinal lipoma. A clinical case

Cutilli T., Schietroma M., Marcelli V. A., Ascani G., Corbacelli A.


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The lipoma is a circumscribed mesenchymal tumour originating from adipose tissue. The lesion is usually small and asymptomatic, and is most frequently located in the neck region. The case of a 77-year-old woman with chronic extrasystolic arrhythmia caused by a non-specified ischemic cardiopathy is reported. The woman presented a swelling at the front of her neck, observed for the first time about 6 months previously. This swelling progressively increased in size, provoking dysphagia, dysphonia, persistent cough, dyspnea, light jugular turgor and palpitations. Chest X-rays showed and opaque area at the front of the neck, which extended beyond the jugular incisure by about 2 cm. NMR of the neck showed a gross lipomatous formation at the front, mainly of the left, continuing in the front mediastinal region; the trachea was dislocated to the right and compressed at the back; the vasculo-nervous fasciculus, especially on the left, was compressed and enveloped by the adipose formation. The Holter test confirmed the presence of ventricular and supra-ventricular extrasystoles. Surgery was carried out under local anaesthesia because the displacement of the laryngo-tracheal axes precluded intubation. Histological analysis of the 9x4x2.2 cm mass confirmed the diagnosis of lipoma. After removal of the mass all the symptoms, which had been provoked by compression, as well as the cardiac arrhythmias disappeared. The prompt disappearance of the latter was particularly surprising. The possibility of the external compression of the nervous structures of the neck should be taken into consideration in cases of ventricular arrhythmia of unknown origin, and systematic study of the region carried out.

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