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Dermatologic Manifestations of Generalized Lipodystrophy Workup

  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Jun 22, 2016

Laboratory Studies

Generalized congenital lipodystrophy often affects the cardiovascular system, tending to be linked with metabolic abnormalities involving glycidic and lipid metabolisms. Cardiovascular and metabolic abnormalities should be evaluated in young asymptomatic individuals with generalized congenital lipodystrophy, in whom a high prevalence was documented in one study, pointing to the need for systematic cardiovascular preventive measures in this high-risk group.[10]


Imaging Studies

Radiographic features include advanced skeletal age, bone cysts, and dilated cerebral ventricles and basal cisterns on pneumoencephalography. Basal cisterns on pneumoencephalography correlated with other findings, demonstrating a high incidence of hypothalamic enlargement and possibly correlating with the tendency of patients with generalized lipodystrophy to have below-average intelligence.

Subcutaneous fat in lipodystrophy types can be quantified by magnetic resonance imaging.[11]

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Camila K Janniger, MD Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Chief of Pediatric Dermatology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Camila K Janniger, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Cris Jagar, MD Staff Physician, Department of Psychiatry, Trinitas Regional Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Albert C Yan, MD Section Chief, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Dermatology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Albert C Yan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology, Society for Pediatric Dermatology, American Academy of Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Congenital generalized lipoatrophy in a 16-year-old girl. In T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, transverse sections of the torso at the fifth lumbar vertebra demonstrate markedly deficient subcutaneous and visceral fat (top left). Transverse sections of the midthigh demonstrate an absence of subcutaneous fat, deep fat, intrafascicular fat, and marrow fat (bottom left); note light-colored, lipid-filled muscle tissue. Note absence of fat throughout the body (right).
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