Adipose lesions of nerve: The need for a modified classification - Clinical article

Robert J. Spinner, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Kimberly K. Amrami, Doris E. Wenger, Marie Noëlle Hébert-Blouin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Object. Adipose lesions of nerve are rare and poorly understood. Their current classification, although not universally accepted, generally includes lipomatosis of nerve with or without localized macrodactyly, and intra- as well as extraneural lipoma. The authors believe that the spectrum of these lesions and their interrelationships are not currently appreciated. They propose an adaptation to the existing framework to illustrate the expanding spectrum of adipose lesions of nerve by considering lipomatosis and lipoma singly or in combination. Methods. Fourteen representative cases are presented to demonstrate not only the intraneural and extraneural examples of lipomatosis and lipoma, but also their anatomical combinations. Results. Based on the cases presented and a careful literature review, a conceptual approach to the classification of adipose lesions of nerve is generated. This approach incorporates the 2 essential lesions, lipomatosis of nerve and lipoma, in both their intra- and extraneural forms. This permits expansion to encompass combinations. Conclusions. To press the concept that adipose tumors of nerve are a broad but interrelated spectrum of lesions, the authors propose modification of the present classification system. This approach provides an orderly platform for progress, reflects understanding of these interrelated lesions, and facilitates optimal treatment by distinguishing resectable from nonresectable components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-431
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Extraneural lipoma
  • Fibrolipomatous hamartoma
  • Hybrid tumor
  • Intraneural lipoma
  • Lipomatosis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Peripheral nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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