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January 22, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(4):292. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550300044004

There occurs in many treatises on pathology and surgery a statement to the effect that lipomas commonly retain their size, and may even grow larger, at the same time that all the natural fat depositsof the body are being exhausted in cachexia or starvation. This phenomenon, if at all constant or even if frequent, has more than passing interest as a medical curiosity, for it indicates that one of the simplest of neoplasms, which seems to show no essential deviation in structure from the normal tissues from which it arises, does differ in some fundamental way as to its metabolism; and also, being a striking exception to the other fat tissues, this behavior of the lipomas should throw some light on the problems of fat metabolism. It is unfortunate, therefore, that most of the references to the behavior of lipomas in emaciation consist of general statements as above cited, without

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