Fat necrosis

Fat necrosis is a form of necrosis characterized by the action upon fat by digestive enzymes.[1]

In fat necrosis the enzyme lipase releases fatty acids from triglycerides. The fatty acids then complex with calcium to form soaps. These soaps appear as white chalky deposits.[2]

It is usually associated with trauma of the pancreas or acute pancreatitis.[2][3]

It can also occur in the breast,[4] the salivary glands[5] and neonates after a traumatic delivery.

Fat necrosis
Other namesalso known as Balser's necrosis
Breast tissue showing fat necrosis 4X
Micrograph of breast tissue showing fat necrosis. H&E stain

See also


  1. ^ "Cell Injury".
  2. ^ a b Kumar, Vinay; Abbas, Abul K.; Fausto, Nelson; & Mitchell, Richard N. (2007). Robbins Basic Pathology (8th ed.). Saunders Elsevier. pp. 10-11 ISBN 978-1-4160-2973-1
  3. ^ "fat necrosis" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  4. ^ Lövey K, Fodor J, Major T, et al. (November 2007). "Fat necrosis after partial-breast irradiation with brachytherapy or electron irradiation versus standard whole-breast radiotherapy--4-year results of a randomized trial". Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 69 (3): 724–31. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.03.055. PMID 17524571.
  5. ^ [1]

External links

Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas

Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas, also acinar cell carcinoma, is a rare malignant exocrine tumour of the pancreas. It represents 5% of all exocrine tumours of the pancreas, making it the second most common type of pancreatic cancer. It is abbreviated ACC. It typically has a guarded prognosis.

Breast mass

A breast mass, also known as a breast lump, is a localized swellings that feel different from the surrounding tissue. Breast pain, nipple discharge, or skin changes may be present. Concerning findings include masses that are hard, do not move easily, are of an irregular shape, or are firmly attached to surrounding tissue.Causes include fibrocystic change, fibroadenomas, breast infection, galactoceles, and breast cancer. Breast cancer makes up about 10% of breast masses. Diagnosis is typically by examination, medical imaging, and tissue biopsy. Tissue biopsy is often by fine needle aspiration biopsy. Repeated examination may be required.Treatment depends on the underlying cause. It may vary from simple pain medication to surgical removal. Some causes may resolve without treatment. Breast masses are relatively common. It is the most common breast complaint with the women's concern generally being that of cancer.

Death messenger

Death messengers, in former times, were those who were dispatched to spread the news that an inhabitant of their city or village had died. They were to wear unadorned black and go door to door with the message, "You are asked to attend the funeral of the departed __________ at (time, date, and place)." This was all they were allowed to say, and were to move on to the next house immediately after uttering the announcement. This tradition persisted in some areas to as late as the mid-19th century.

Dignified death

Dignified death is a somewhat elusive concept often related to suicide. One factor that has been cited as a core component of dignified death is maintaining a sense of control. Another view is that a truly dignified death is an extension of a dignified life. There is some concern that assisted suicide does not guarantee a dignified death, since some patients may experience complications such as nausea and vomiting. There is some concern that age discrimination denies the elderly a dignified death.


In medicine, dysthanasia means "bad death" and is considered a common fault of modern medicine.Dysthanasia occurs when a person who is dying has their biological life extended through technological means without regard to the person's quality of life. Technologies such as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, artificial ventilation, ventricular assist devices, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation can extend the dying process.

Dysthanasia is a term generally used when a person is seen to be kept alive artificially in a condition where, otherwise, they cannot survive; sometimes for some sort of ulterior motive. The term was used frequently in the investigation into the death of Formula One driver Ayrton Senna in 1994.

Dystrophic calcification

Dystrophic calcification (DC) is the calcification occurring in degenerated or necrotic tissue, as in hyalinized scars, degenerated foci in leiomyomas, and caseous nodules. This occurs as a reaction to tissue damage, including as a consequence of medical device implantation. Dystrophic calcification can occur even if the amount of calcium in the blood is not elevated. (A systemic mineral imbalance would elevate calcium levels in the blood and all tissues and cause metastatic calcification.) Basophilic calcium salt deposits aggregate, first in the mitochondria, and progressively throughout the cell. These calcifications are an indication of previous microscopic cell injury. It occurs in areas of cell necrosis in which activated phosphatases bind calcium ions to phospholipids in the membrane.

Calcification can occur in dead or degenerated tissue.

Epichloë coenophiala

Epichloë coenophiala is a systemic and seed-transmissible endophyte of tall fescue, a grass endemic to Eurasia and North Africa, but widely naturalized in North America, Australia and New Zealand. The endophyte has been identified as the cause of the "fescue toxicosis" syndrome sometimes suffered by livestock that graze the infected grass. Possible symptoms include poor weight gain, elevated body temperature, reduced conception rates, agalactia, rough hair coat, fat necrosis, loss of switch and ear tips, and lameness or dry gangrene of the feet. Because of the resemblance to symptoms of ergotism in humans, the most likely agents responsible for fescue toxicosis are thought to be the ergot alkaloids, principally ergovaline produced by E. coenophiala.Continued popularity of tall fescue with this endophyte, despite episodic livestock toxicosis, is attributable to the exceptional productivity and stress tolerance of the grass in pastures and hay fields. The endophyte produces two classes of alkaloids, loline alkaloids and the pyrrolopyrazine, peramine, which are insecticidal and insect deterrent, respectively, and presence of the fungus increases drought tolerance, nitrogen utilization, phosphate acquisition, and resistance to nematodes. Recently, natural strains of E. coenophiala with little or no ergot alkaloid production have been introduced into tall fescue for new cultivar development. These strains are apparently not toxic to livestock, and also provide some, but not necessarily all, of the benefits attributable to the "common toxic" strains in the older tall fescue cultivars.Epichloë coniophiala was originally described as an Acremonium species and later moved to the anamorphic form genus Neotyphodium. Today, it is classified in Epichloë. Molecular phylogenetic analysis indicates that E. coenophiala is an interspecific hybrid with three ancestors: E. festucae, E. typhina and a third, undescribed or extinct species that also contributed a genome to the hybrid endophyte E. occultans, among others.

Lazarus sign

The Lazarus sign or Lazarus reflex is a reflex movement in brain-dead or brainstem failure patients, which causes them to briefly raise their arms and drop them crossed on their chests (in a position similar to some Egyptian mummies). The phenomenon is named after the Biblical figure Lazarus of Bethany, whom Jesus raised from the dead in the Gospel of John.


Lipodermatosclerosis is a skin and connective tissue disease. It is a form of lower extremity panniculitis, an inflammation of the layer of fat under the epidermis.


Megadeath (or megacorpse) is one million human deaths, usually caused by a nuclear explosion. The term was used by scientists and thinkers who strategized likely outcomes of all-out nuclear warfare.


Myospherulosis, also known as spherulocytosis, is a foreign body-type granulomatous reaction to lipid-containing material and blood.It may be seen in various settings including:

Fat necrosis.

Malignancy, e.g. renal cell carcinoma.

Placement of topical tetracycline in a petrolatum base into a surgical site.The resultant histopathologic pattern is most unusual and initially was mistakenly thought to represent a previously undescribed endosporulating fungus.


Necrosis (from the Greek νέκρωσις "death, the stage of dying, the act of killing" from νεκρός "dead") is a form of cell injury which results in the premature death of cells in living tissue by autolysis.Necrosis is caused by factors external to the cell or tissue, such as infection, toxins, or trauma which result in the unregulated digestion of cell components.

In contrast, apoptosis is a naturally occurring programmed and targeted cause of cellular death.

While apoptosis often provides beneficial effects to the organism, necrosis is almost always detrimental and can be fatal.Cellular death due to necrosis does not follow the apoptotic signal transduction pathway, but rather various receptors are activated, and result in the loss of cell membrane integrity and an uncontrolled release of products of cell death into the extracellular space.This initiates in the surrounding tissue an inflammatory response which attracts leukocytes and nearby phagocytes which eliminate the dead cells by phagocytosis. However, microbial damaging substances released by leukocytes would create collateral damage to surrounding tissues. This excess collateral damage inhibits the healing process. Thus, untreated necrosis results in a build-up of decomposing dead tissue and cell debris at or near the site of the cell death. A classic example is gangrene. For this reason, it is often necessary to remove necrotic tissue surgically, a procedure known as debridement.

Pallor mortis

Pallor mortis (Latin: pallor "paleness", mortis "of death"), the first stage of death, is an after-death paleness that occurs in those with light/white skin.


Panniculitis is a group of diseases whose hallmark is inflammation of subcutaneous adipose tissue (the fatty layer under the skin – panniculus adiposus). Symptoms include tender skin nodules, and systemic signs such as weight loss and fatigue.

Restated, an inflammatory disorder primarily localized in the subcutaneous fat is termed a "panniculitis", a group of disorders that may be challenging both for the clinician and the dermatopathologist.


SFN may refer to:

Short filename, the 8.3 filename limitation of the DOS computer operating system

SFN Group, Inc., a North American temporary work agency

Single-frequency network, a broadcast network where several transmitters simultaneously send the same signal over the same frequency channel

Small Fiber Neuropathy

Society for Neuroscience, a professional society headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn, a medical condition occurring in newborns

Protein stratifin

Sclerema neonatorum

Sclerema neonatorum is a rare and severe skin condition that is characterized by diffuse hardening of the subcutaneous tissue with minimal inflammation. It usually affects premature, ill newborns. Prognosis is poor.

Minimal inflammation helps distinguish sclerema neonaturum from subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn.

Subcutaneous fat necrosis

Subcutaneous fat necrosis may refer to:

Pancreatic panniculitis

Subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn

Subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn

Subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn is a rare form of lobular panniculitis occurring in newborns that is usually self-remitting and non-recurring. Proposed causes include perinatal stress, local trauma, hypoxia and hypothermia, though the exact cause is unknown. It has been suggested that the brown fat seen in newborns is more sensitive to hypoxic injury than fat seen in adults, and that such hypoxia, usually in the context of a complicated birth, leads to the fat necrosis. Complications can include hypercalcemia, hyperlipidemia and thrombocytopenia, and can present months after the onset of SCFN symptoms.

Touton giant cell

Touton giant cells are a type of multinucleated giant cell seen in lesions with high lipid content such as fat necrosis, xanthoma, and xanthogranulomas. They are also found in dermatofibroma.

Principles of pathology
Anatomical pathology
Clinical pathology

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