A 50-year-old woman with no past medical history presented with a left anterior chest wall mass that was clinically soft, mobile, and non-tender. A targeted ultrasound (US) showed findings suggestive of a lipoma. However, focal “mass-like” nodules seen within the inferior portion suggested malignant transformation of a lipomatous lesion called for cross sectional imaging, such as MRI or invasive biopsy or excision for histological confirmation. A T1-weighted image demonstrated a large lipoma that has a central fat-containing region surrounded by an irregular hypointense rim in the inferior portion, confirming the benignity of the lipoma. An ultrasound-guided photoacoustic imaging (PA) of the excised specimen to derive the biochemical distribution demonstrated the “mass-like” hypoechoic regions on US as fat-containing, suggestive of benignity of lesion, rather than fat-replacing suggestive of malignancy. The case showed the potential of PA as an adjunct to US in improving the diagnostic confidence in lesion characterization.

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