Chondroid lipoma, first described in 1993 by Meis and Enzinger, is a very rare lipomatous tumor. Because it is a benign tumor, it does not require radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or extensive resection. However, histologically, it is often confused with a sarcoma. It is crucial to differentiate chondroid lipoma from sarcoma to avoid choosing an inappropriate treatment strategy. Although MRI, radiography, and ultrasound have been used to evaluate chondroid lipomas, imaging cannot accurately differentiate chondroid lipoma from sarcoma.
A 39-year-old man presented to a local clinic with a 1-month history of a painless mass in his left neck. Results of a needle biopsy suggested an atypical lipomatous tumor, and the patient was referred to our hospital. Physical examination revealed a hard and mobile mass in the left neck. Plain X-ray radiographs showed an absence of calcification in the soft tissue mass. MRI revealed a well-defined and lobulated mass, and on T1-weighted images, the lesion showed heterogeneity, with higher signal intensity than that of muscle. On T2-weighted images, the septum had low-signal intensity. On T2-weighted fat-suppressed images, the signal of the mass was completely suppressed. The SUVmax of the mass on FDG PET was 1.84. An additional needle biopsy was performed, and on the basis of the results, we arrived at a diagnosis of well-differentiated liposarcoma. The mass was resected marginally. Macroscopically, the mass was encapsulated and markedly harder than well-differentiated liposarcoma. Histologically, the tumor was composed of myxoid and cartilaginous matrix, and mature fat cells and lipoblast-like cells were present. The final diagnosis was chondroid lipoma, and no recurrence was observed 1 year after surgery.
Chondroid lipoma is an extremely rare benign soft tissue tumor that is often confused with sarcoma. It is very important to differentiate chondroid lipoma from sarcoma when the SUVmax value of the mass is low, even when biopsy results suggest that it is a sarcoma.