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ePlasty: Vol. 17
Osteochondrolipoma of the Mandible
Takeshi Kitazawa, MD, and Masato Shiba, MD, PhD

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Matsunami General Hospital, Gifu, Japan

Correspondence: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Keywords: mandible, osseous and cartilaginous metaplasia, osteochondrolipoma, mesenchymoma, pluripotency

Objective: Lipomas are very common benign tumors located in any part of the body in which fat is normally present, but lipomas containing both osseous and cartilaginous elements are rare. Methods: A case of osteochondrolipoma in a 72-year-old man is reported. The tumor in the mental region was 2×1.5×1.5 cm. Results: After resection of the tumor, there has been no recurrence during the 6-month postoperative follow-up. Histological examination confirmed the definitive diagnosis. Conclusions: Osteochondrolipoma is an extremely unusual lesion that should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of soft-tissue tumors.

Lipomas are common benign soft-tissue tumors that are composed of mature adipose cells, with uniform nuclei identical to the cells in normal adult fat and cause few clinical problems. Lipomas occasionally contain other mesenchymal elements such as blood vessels, fibrous tissue, and, less frequently, bone, or cartilage.1 An extremely rare case of lipoma at the mentum with concurrent osseous and cartilaginous differentiation is described.


A 72-year-old man presented with a 20-year history of a slow-growing painless mass at the mental region. On examination, there was a single, well-defined, mobile, relatively hard mass, with normal surrounding skin and mucosa (Fig 1).

Figure 1. Clinical view of the lesion at first presentation.

Computed tomographic scan showed an elliptically shaped smooth mass of fat density measuring 2×1.5 cm with partial ossification. The mass was not in contact with the mandible, and a clinical diagnosis of lipoma with calculus was made (Fig 2).

Figure 2. Computed tomographic scan shows a smooth mass of partial calcification at the mental region.

Under local anesthesia, the tumor with no adhesions to the periosteum of the mandible was easily dissected through the intraoral incision. Gross examination showed a whitish, partially yellowish mass measuring 2×1.5×1.5 cm, with a well-circumscribed smooth surface (Fig 3). Histological examination showed that the tumor was mostly composed of mature adipose tissue with partially osseous and cartilaginous differentiation. No atypical cells or mitotic figures were observed. Immunohistochemical staining of the tumor was positive for CD34. On the basis of these findings, the tumor was diagnosed as an osteochondrolipoma (Fig 4). Six months after surgery, there was no recurrence of the disease.

Figure 3. Macroscopic findings of the lesion. A soft yellowish mass together with a hard whitish nodule is seen.
Figure 4. Histological and immunohistochemical findings of the specimen. (a) Predominant adipose tissue with osseous and cartilaginous differentiation (H&E, ×40). (b) Immunohistochemical stain showing positivity with CD34 (×100).


Lipomas are very common benign soft-tissue tumors that are normally found at the back, neck, shoulders, abdomen, or proximal extremities.1,2 They occasionally contain other mesenchymal components such as bone, cartilage, and vessels, and they are called osteolipoma, chondrolipoma, and angiolipoma, respectively. Among them, osteolipoma and chondrolipoma are rare, especially lipoma with both osseous and cartilaginous components. That is, osteochondrolipoma is extremely rare and to the best of our knowledge, only 14 cases have been reported in the English literature, including the present case (Table 1); 5 tumors were localized at the maxillofacial region,5-8 with another 5 cases at the extremities,2,4,9,12,13 and the other 4 at the trunk.1,3,10,11 There was no clear sex predominance (8 men, 6 women), and the average patient age was 57.4 years (SD = 13.5 years; range, 19-73 years). The clinical history is usually that of a painless, slow-growing mass, sometimes measured in years (mean >5 years, ranging from 1 month to >20 years). Average tumor size was 4.2 cm (SD = 2.5 cm; range, 0.5-9.5 cm).

Table 1. Previously reported cases of osteochondrolipomas
No. Authors Age, y Sex Location Periosteal adhesion Size, cm Duration
1 Katzer 3 55 F Ischial region Not mentioned 9.5×7×4.5
2 19 F Left forearm + 1.9
3 41 M Left groin 8×5×4
4 Rau et al 4 70 M Left femur 8
5 Kuyama et al 5 59 M Lower lip Not mentioned 0.9×0.5×0.5 2 mo
6 Tasić et al 6 60 F Tongue 2.0×1.7 5 y
7 Soulard et al 7 61 M Submandibular region + 4.5×4.5×4 >20 y
8 Gültekin et al 8 64 M Mandibular symphysis region + 2 2 mo
9 Ensat et al 9 73 M Left palm 6.5×6×4.5 5 y
10 Sunohara et al 10 59 F Left axilla + 7.9×7.6×9.0 5 y
11 Nisio et al 11 49 M Left scapular region 3.0×3.0 1 mo
12 Tomonaga and Kudawara 12 58 F Left thigh 3×4 3 y
13 Choi et al 13 63 F Left popliteal fossa 4×5×3 >1 y
14 This study 72 M Mandibular symphysis region 2×1.5×1.5 >20 y

The nomenclature of osteochondrolipoma is controversial. Jones et al14 defined a tumor composed of 2 or more mature mesenchymal tissues, with no single element predominating, as mesenchymoma. In contrast, because the reported tumors including the present case had mature fatty tissue as the predominant component, it is appropriate to consider them osteochondrolipomas. However, there is no clear border between benign mesenchymomas and osteochondrolipomas.3

The pathogenesis of osteochondrolipomas remains uncertain. Different theories have been proposed to explain the formation of cartilaginous and osseous tissues in lipomas.6 One theory suggests that adipose, cartilaginous, and osseous components originate from multipotent undifferentiated mesenchymal cells independently.15 A second theory suggests that cartilaginous and osseous components may represent a metaplastic process in preexisting lipoma3,16 or chondrolipoma.12 Katzer3 suggested that, because the adipose tissue predominates in chondrolipomas and osteolipomas, and one can see different stages of the formation of cartilage and bone simultaneously, the pathogenesis of chondrolipomas and osteolipomas as primary mixed tumors is improbable. Recently, it has been shown that pluripotent adult stem cells, the adipose-derived stem cells, obtained from liposuction waste have the potential for chondrogenesis, osteogenesis, and myogenesis.17,18 As in the present case, CD34 was positive and pluripotency of the tumor was suggested. Considering that lipoma cells might have the potential to differentiate into other mesenchymal tissues, it would be surprising that most lipomas are pure lipomas without showing multidirectional differentiation.

The differential diagnosis should include osteocartilaginous choristoma, metastatic chondrosarcoma or osteosarcoma, liposarcoma with metaplasia, and posttraumatic chondrification.19 Because an incisional biopsy, which samples only a part of the lesion, can lead to misdiagnosis due to the pleomorphism of osteochondrolipoma, submission of the whole tumor for histopathological examination following exenteration is the preferred approach to diagnosis and treatment. No recurrences have been reported.


1. Weiss SW, Goldblum JR. Benign lipomatous tumors. In: Eizenger and Weiss's Soft Tissue Tumors. 5th ed. St Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2007:429-76.

2. Rydholm A, Berg NO. Size, site and clinical incidence of lipoma. Factors in the differential diagnosis of lipoma and sarcoma. Acta Orthop Scand. 1983;54:929-34.

3. Katzer B. Histopathology of rare chondroosteoblastic mataplasia in benign lipomas. Pathol Res Pract. 1989;184:437-43.

4. Rau T, Soeder S, Olk A, Aigner T. Parosteal lipoma of the thigh with cartilaginous and osseous differentiation: an osteochondrolipoma. Ann Diagn Pathol. 2006;10:279-82.

5. Kuyama K, Fifita SF, Komiya M, Sun Y, Akimoto Y, Yamamoto H. Rare lipomatous tumors with osseous and/or chondroid differentiation in the oral cavity: report of two cases and review of literature. Int J Dent. 2009;2009:143460.

6. Tasić D, Pavlocić M, Stanković D, Dimov I, Stanojević G, Dimov D. Ossifying chondrolipoma of the tongue. Vojnosanit Pregl. 2012;69:1009-12.

7. Soulard R, Nguyen AT, Souraud JB, Oddon PA, Fouet B, Cathelinaud O. Osteochonrolipoma of the submandibular region: a case report and review of the literature. Head Neck Pathol. 2012;6:486-91.

8. Gültekin SE, Kahraman S, Karaday K. Parosteal osteochondrolipoma of the mandible. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2012;16:280-2.

9. Ensat F, Wechselberger G, Spies M. Chondro-osteolipoma of the hand. Dermatol Surg. 2012;38:1070.

10. Sunohara M, Ozawa T, Morimoto K, Tateishi C, Ishii M. Lipoma with bone and cartilage components in the left axilla of a middle-aged woman. Aesth Plast Surg. 2012;36:1164-7.

11. Nisio J, Ideta S, Iwasaki H, Naito M. Scapular osteochondrolipoma: imaging features with pathological correlation. Oncol Lett. 2013;6:817-20.

12. Tomonaga M, Kudawara I. Ossifying chondrolipoma of the thigh: radiographic pathologic correlation. Curr Orthop Pract. 2014;25:493-6.

13. Choi YJ, Kang JH, Kang GH, Choi SJ. Osteochondrolipoma presenting as a popliteal cyst. Clin Orthop Surg. 2015;7:264-8.

14. Jones AC, Trochesset D, Freedman PD. Intraoral benign mesenchymoma: a report of 10 cases and review of the literature. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2003;95:67-76.

15. Furlong MA, Fanburg-Smith JC, Childers ELB. Lipoma of the oral and maxillofacial region: site and subclassification of 125 cases. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2004;98:441-50.

16. Hietanen J, Makinen J. Chondrolioma of the tongue. A case report. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1997;26:127-8.

17. Gimble JM, Guilak F. Adipose-derived adult stem cells: isolation, characterization, and differentiation potential. Cytotherapy. 2003;5:362-9.

18. Zuk PA, Zhu M, Mizuno H, et al. Multilineage cells from human adipose tissue: implications for cell-based therapies. Tissue Eng. 2001;7:211-28.

19. Fujimura N, Enomoto S. Lipoma of the tongue with cartilaginous change: a case report and review of the literature. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1992;50:1015-7.

Journal ID: ePlasty Volume: 17
ISSN: 1937-5719 E-location ID: e35
Publisher: Open Science Company, LLC Published: December 1, 2017

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