Hibernoma pathology

Author: Assoc Prof Patrick Emanuel, Dermatopathologist, Auckland, New Zealand, 2013.

Hibernoma are derived from brown fat. They occur in the subcutaneous or deeper soft tissues.

Histology of hibernoma

Sections show a highly characteristic lesion composed of cells with a markedly enlarged cytoplasm filled with course vacuoles and eosinophilic granules (figures 1, 2).

Hibernoma pathology

Special studies for hibernoma

None are generally needed. Cytogenetic studies of hibernoma have shown deletions on chromosomes 10 and 11 but are not required for diagnosis.

Differential diagnosis of Hibernoma pathology

Normal brown fat – Brown fat may be seen incidentally in paediatric soft tissues. Physiologic brown fat does not form a discrete mass.

Granular cell tumour, rhabdomyomas – These tumours contain eosinophilic granules in the cytoplasm. Intracytoplasmic vacuoles are not seen in these tumours.

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Related information



  • Weedon’s Skin Pathology (Third edition, 2010). David Weedon

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