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Lipoma Due to Chronic Intermittent Compression as an Occupational Disease

Coban, Yusuf Kenan MD; Uzel, Murat MD; Gumus, Nazim MD

doi: 10.1097/01.sap.0000223205.88824.39
Original Article
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A total of 15 coppersmiths who do the job as a traditional profession in Kahramanmaras Province were retrospectively analyzed for revealing a possible relationship of lipoma formation and chronic compression, as the work characteristic related to mechanical pressure to the right thoracal and shoulder region. The workers were examined and their historical data were noted. Chronic compression sites in the patients were also evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasonography. The ages were between 30 and 52 years. Body mass index ranged from 18.6 to 38.8. Five were operated for visible lipomatous masses at their injured sites. All of the specimens were reported as containing mature adipocytes. An increased subcutaneous fat thickness at the injured sides of the patients was seen when compared with the uninjured contralateral sides using ultrasonography. At the magnetic resonance images, no capsule intensity was observed in the lipomatose masses. Subcutaneous fat of injured right mammarial regions was thicker than the other contralateral sides in all of the cases. The most prominent lipomas were seen in obese workers, and strong evidence for chronic trauma and lipoma formation as an occupational disease was obtained from the study.

Physical examination of 15 coppersmiths demonstrated a notable thickening in the lateral thorax and/or inner arm at the site of chronic compression by a tool held in the axilla. Five underwent surgical removal of large lipomas from the affected areas.

From the Sutcuimam University School of Medicine, Kahramanmaras, Turkey.

Received March 6, 2006 and accepted for publication March 16, 2006.

Reprints: Yusuf Kenan Coban, MD, Hastaneler caddesi, Tip Fakültesi Dekanligi, 46050 Kahramanmaras, Turkey. E-mail: cobanyk@ksu.edu.tr.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.