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Lipoma arborescens: is it the cause or effect?


Lipoma arborescens is benign villous lipomatous proliferation of the synovium. The fronds-like masses are non-neoplastic fatty deposits on the synovium. The word arborescens is a Latin term meaning ‘tree-forming’ or ‘tree-like’. This article presents two cases of young adults who presented with pain and swelling around knee joint and were diagnosed on the basis of characteristic MRI findings, and hence signifies the role of MRI in diagnosing the cause of inflammatory synovitis in young patients. In addition, MRI helped in deciding the management of these patients. There was significant symptomatic improvement seen on follow-up, which further helps to strengthen the hypothesis that underlying lipoma arborescens could be a rare underlying cause for undiagnosed inflammatory synovitis in young adults.


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Correspondence to Saifullah Khalid MD.

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Khalid, S., Asif, N., Afrose, R. et al. Lipoma arborescens: is it the cause or effect?. Egypt Rheumatol Rehabil 42, 45–48 (2015).

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  • inflammatory synovitis
  • knee effusion
  • lipoma arborescens
  • MR