Lipolysis of lipomas in patients with familial multiple lipomatosis: an ultrasonography-controlled trial

J Cutan Med Surg. 2006 Jul-Aug;10(4):155-9. doi: 10.2310/7750.2006.00040.


Background: Surgery of multiple lipomas, as in patients with familial multiple lipomatosis, is often limited by poor aesthetic outcome owing to extensive scarring. For this reason, phosphatidylcholine (PDC) has been widely used to treat areas of localized fat accumulation. However, no reports of lipoma therapy with intralesional application of PDC, that is, injection lipolysis, have been published to date.

Objective: To investigate whether injection lipolysis with PDC is an effective therapeutic option for patients with multiple lipomas.

Methods: Thirty lipomas in 10 patients were sonographically measured prior to treatment. Four injections at intervals of 6 to 8 weeks were done. Sonographic measurements of lipoma size were repeated before each injection. Side effects, a pain score using a visual analogue scale, and patient satisfaction were noted. In one lipoma, histologic changes after lipolysis are described.

Results: After four injections, a significant reduction in size of 45.8% was achieved. No complete elimination was seen in any lipoma. Histology showed a mild granulomatous septal panniculitis. Hematoma occurred in eight cases (27%). Four patients described pain on pressure for 3 days after injection. No severe side effects or systemic reactions were observed.

Conclusion: Although surgery is the gold standard for lipoma therapy, injection lipolysis with PDC can also significantly reduce lipoma size. Complete elimination was not observed in any lipoma. Given that this was a short-term study, long-lasting therapeutic effects and possible recurrence of lipoma cannot be evaluated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cicatrix / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Lipolysis / drug effects*
  • Lipoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Lipoma / drug therapy*
  • Lipoma / pathology
  • Lipomatosis, Multiple Symmetrical / diagnostic imaging
  • Lipomatosis, Multiple Symmetrical / drug therapy*
  • Lipomatosis, Multiple Symmetrical / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphatidylcholines / administration & dosage
  • Phosphatidylcholines / therapeutic use*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Phosphatidylcholines