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Emerg Med J. 2007 October; 24(10): 695.
PMCID: PMC2658433

Intrathoracic lipoma in a child

A 10‐year‐old girl presented with a 2 week history of right sided chest pain, which was pleuritic in nature. On examination, the child was found to have absent breath sounds and absent vocal fremitus over the right upper chest. A plain chest radiograph (fig 11)) showed a large homogenous mass in the upper half of the right lung field. A computed tomographic (CT) scan of the chest revealed a large mass compressing and distorting the right upper lobe. A provisional diagnosis of intrathoracic lipoma was made. The child underwent thoracotomy and enucleation of the lipoma. Postoperatively the child had an uneventful recovery.

figure em37937.f1
Figure 1 Chest radiograph showing a large homogenous mass in the upper half of the right lung field

Intrathoracic lipoma is a rare neoplasm. They frequently present with incidental radiographic findings, confounding clinical decisions.1 A CT scan is considered the investigation of choice. World literature review supports complete excision for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.


Competing interests: None.


1. Munro P T, O'Driscoll D, Mohalingam K. Intrathoracic lipoma masquerading as subclavian artery trauma. J Accid Emerg Med 1996. 13287–288.288 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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