Medical Definition of Angiomyolipoma

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Reviewed on 10/25/2017

Angiomyolipoma: This is a benign (noncancerous) tumor of the kidney. An angiomyolipoma is composed of three types of cells:

  1. Vascular cells ("angio-")
  2. Immature smooth muscle cells ("myo-")
  3. Fat cells ("lipoma")

These benign tumors are usually found in the kidney, but they occasionally occur in the liver and rarely in the ovary, fallopian tube, colon, palate, and spermatic cord. Most angiomyolipomas cause no symptoms or signs. However, even though they are benign tumors, some angiomyolipomas can cause symptoms and signs if the tumor becomes very large or if the blood vessels in the angiomyolipoma start to leak or rupture. In this case, symptoms such as back pain or flank pain, nausea, vomiting, anemia, or high blood pressure may occur. The cause of angiomyolipoma is unknown.

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Reviewed on 10/25/2017
References
Flum, A., et al. "Update on the diagnosis and management of renal angiomyolipoma." J Urol 195 (4 Pt 1) April 2016: 834-846. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26612197>.