I had an MRI of the t-spine a few weeks ago. They said I have lipomatosis and have not determined a cause yet. Given the location of the spine would the doctor reading the MRI notice any defects in the lungs or other areas around the spine or do they even look anywhere else besides the spine?
Spinal epidural lipomatosis is most commonly observed in patients receiving long-term exogenous steroid therapy, but can also be seen in patients with endogenous steroid overproduction, obesity, or idiopathic disease. With this condition, there is hypertrophy of the epidural adipose tissue, causing a narrowing of the spinal canal and compression of neural structures. A majority of patients will present with progressive muscle pathology (myelopathy), but radicular (nerve) symptoms are also common. Conservative treatment—weaning from steroids or weight loss—can reverse the hypertrophy of the adipose tissue and relieve the neural compression. If conservative management fails, surgery with decompressive laminectomy is also very successful at improving the patient’s neurological symptoms.
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