Spindle cell lipoma of the hypopharynx

Giovanna Cantarella, Cesare Bartolomeo Neglia, Enrico Civelli, Lucia Roncoroni, Ferdinando Radice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Larynx and hypopharynx lipomas are reported to account for approximately 0.6% of benign laryngeal neoplasms. Spindle cell lipoma is a histologically distinct variant characterized by mature adipocytes mixed with collagen-forming spindle cells; only one case of spindle cell lipoma of the larynx has been previously reported. We here describe a new case of spindle cell lipoma of the pyriform sinus successfully treated by means of endoscopic surgical excision. A 77-year-old woman with a 40-year history of dysphagia reported that the condition had markedly worsened over the three years before she came to us. She had difficulty swallowing even semisolid food and she experienced occasional nasal regurgitation of liquid or solid food. Flexible videolaryngoscopy showed a very large mass, covered by normal mucosa that almost totally occupied the right pyriform sinus and was apparently attached to the right arytenoid. Functional endoscopic study and videofluoroscopy of swallowing showed that the bolus progressed exclusively in the left pyriform sinus, with postdeglutitory pooling in the right pyriform sinus and a reflux toward the valleculae during consecutive deglutitions. Computed tomography demonstrated that the hypopharyngeal mass had low attenuation values and negative densitometry. The entire mass was surgically removed during suspension microlaryngoscopy. The histological sections showed mature adipocytes mixed with small and slender spindle cells. Postoperative endoscopic and videofluorosocpic deglutition studies revealed the recovery of normal swallowing. This case indicates that hypopharyngeal lipomas should be included in the differential diagnosis of slowly occurring swallowing impairments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-227
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Dysphagia
  • Hypopharyngeal neoplasm
  • Spindle cell lipoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology


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