Fat necrosis

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

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.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2011-09-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]