open access

Vol 24, No 4 (2018)
Review papers
Published online: 2018-12-30
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Lipedema: a clinical entity

Paweł Łyszczak, Andrzej Szuba
DOI: 10.5603/AA.2018.0020
·
Acta Angiologica 2018;24(4):141-148.

open access

Vol 24, No 4 (2018)
Review papers
Published online: 2018-12-30

Abstract

Lipedema is a chronic, progressive disorder of adipose tissue, found almost exclusively in women, that involves
disproportionate subcutaneous fat depositions, leading to progressive and symmetric enlargement of the legs.
The condition usually appears at puberty or in the third decade of life. Many patients report a family history of
such disorder. The diagnosis is usually based on the physical examination and medical history. If left untreated,
lipedema may result in secondary lymphatic dysfunction, physical impairment and mental problems, leading
to significant damage to patient’s quality of life. The condition is frequently misdiagnosed as lymphedema or
mistreated as obesity. Other than that, the differential diagnosis includes chronic venous insufficiency, constitutional
variability of the legs, lipohypertrophy, Dercum’s disease, Madelung’s disease. The treatment options
include diet and compression therapy, conservative treatment of secondary edema and surgical interventions.
There is an urgent need for further studies on the pathogenesis of lipedema, epidemiology, diagnostic criteria
and possible curative treatment.

Abstract

Lipedema is a chronic, progressive disorder of adipose tissue, found almost exclusively in women, that involves
disproportionate subcutaneous fat depositions, leading to progressive and symmetric enlargement of the legs.
The condition usually appears at puberty or in the third decade of life. Many patients report a family history of
such disorder. The diagnosis is usually based on the physical examination and medical history. If left untreated,
lipedema may result in secondary lymphatic dysfunction, physical impairment and mental problems, leading
to significant damage to patient’s quality of life. The condition is frequently misdiagnosed as lymphedema or
mistreated as obesity. Other than that, the differential diagnosis includes chronic venous insufficiency, constitutional
variability of the legs, lipohypertrophy, Dercum’s disease, Madelung’s disease. The treatment options
include diet and compression therapy, conservative treatment of secondary edema and surgical interventions.
There is an urgent need for further studies on the pathogenesis of lipedema, epidemiology, diagnostic criteria
and possible curative treatment.

Get Citation

Keywords

lipedema, lymphedema, obesity, edema

About this article
Title

Lipedema: a clinical entity

Journal

Acta Angiologica

Issue

Vol 24, No 4 (2018)

Pages

141-148

Published online

2018-12-30

DOI

10.5603/AA.2018.0020

Bibliographic record

Acta Angiologica 2018;24(4):141-148.

Keywords

lipedema
lymphedema
obesity
edema

Authors

Paweł Łyszczak
Andrzej Szuba

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