Fat Suppression Imaging in Epidural Lipomatosis: Case Report


A case of epidural lipomatosis associated with steroid use in rheumatoid arthritis is presented to describe the role of fat suppression imaging as a diagnostic tool. The plain radiographs revealed several vertebral compression fractures and the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a large extradural mass. A fat suppression MRI was obtained, which confirmed the diagnosis of epidural lipomatosis. A fat suppression MRI scan is a special imaging technique that is used in particular to either suppress the signal from adipose tissue or detect adipose tissue. An MRI scan is the imaging tool of choice to examine soft tissue lesions of the spine, and fat suppression imaging will provide additional information about any fatty soft tissue lesion, as in the case of epidural lipomatosis. This imaging modality is particularly useful in those patients who are morbidly obese or taking exogenous corticosteroids, because these conditions can proliferate adipose tissue leading to epidural lipomatosis. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 16(3):144–147, 2007)

SKU: JSOA-2007-16-3-F7 Categories: , Tags: , ,

J. Brian Gill, MD, MBA