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Intrathoracic lipoma in a child
  1. M Whitlock,
  2. K A Qureshi
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, London, UK
  1. m.whitlock{at}

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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 1) 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 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.


This article has been adapted from Whitlock M, Qureshi K A. Intrathoracic lipoma in a child Emergency Medicine Journal 2007;24:695



  • Competing interests: None.