Idiopathic Spinal Epidural Fat Accumulation Is Associated With Hyperlipidemia

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Study Design.Single-center retrospective analysis of consecutively collected data.Objective.To determine the clinical characteristics of idiopathic spinal epidural lipomatosis (SEL).Summary of Background Data.SEL is associated with the overt accumulation of nonencapsulated adipose tissue in the epidural space, leading to spinal cord or nerve root compression. The etiology of this condition is currently not completely understood.Methods.Data of 166 male patients who underwent primary surgery for lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSS) from May 2013 to February 2016 were retrospectively reviewed. Participants were divided into three groups based on the degree of epidural lipomatous lesion. Patient data of age at surgery, body mass index, prevalence of common noncommunicable diseases, blood tests, arteriosclerotic index, and preoperative clinical scores (assessed using the Japanese Orthopedic Association Back Pain Evaluation Questionnaire) were evaluated. Multivariate analysis was performed to assess the potential associated factors for idiopathic SEL.Results.Patients with LSS with severe SEL had a significantly higher body mass index and elevated serum levels of total cholesterol and triglyceride compared with those without SEL. Analysis of preoperative clinical scores revealed that patients with SEL experienced pain more frequently and showed less walking ability than did those without SEL. Multivariate analysis revealed that hyperlipidemia was significantly associated with idiopathic SEL (odds ratio = 3.74, 95% confidence interval = 1.31–10.64).Conclusion.Our data suggest that aberrant lipid metabolism is related to the pathogenesis of idiopathic SEL and that patients with LSS with idiopathic SEL have more severe pain than do those without SEL.Level of Evidence: 3

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