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Acquired Lipodystrophy

Abstract

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NORD is very grateful to Abhimanyu Garg, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine, Chief, Division of Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases, Distinguished Chair in Human Nutrition Research, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Acquired Lipodystrophy

  • No synonyms found.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • acquired generalized lipodystrophy (AGL; Lawrence syndrome)
  • acquired partial lipodystrophy (APL; Barraquer-Simons syndrome)
  • high active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) induced lipodystrophy (LD-HIV)
  • localized lipodystrophy

General Discussion

Summary
Acquired lipodystrophy is a general term for types of lipodystrophy that are not inherited, but rather acquired at some point during life. Acquired lipodystrophies do not have a direct genetic cause, but rather many different factors may be involved. Acquired lipodystrophies can be caused by medications, autoimmunity or for unknown reasons (idiopathic). Subtypes of acquired lipodystrophy include acquired generalized lipodystrophy (Lawrence syndrome), acquired partial lipodystrophy (Barraquer-Simons syndrome), localized lipodystrophy, and high active antiretroviral induced lipodystrophy, which may develop in HIV-infected individuals undergoing a specific form of treatment. Onset of acquired forms of lipodystrophy can occur during childhood, adolescence or adulthood. Affected individuals develop characteristic loss of body fat (adipose tissue) affecting specific areas of the body, especially the arms, legs, face, neck, and chest or thoracic regions. In some cases, metabolic complications associated with insulin resistance can develop. Such complications include an inability to break down glucose (glucose intolerance), elevated levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia), and diabetes. Additional symptoms such as fat accumulation in the liver (fatty liver or hepatic steatosis) may also occur.

Introduction
Lipodystrophy is a general term for a group of disorders that are characterized by complete (generalized) or partial loss of adipose tissue. Some forms of lipodystrophy are acquired; others are genetic. The degree of severity and the specific areas of the body affected can vary among the lipodystrophies. Some physicians refer to the loss of adipose tissue that characterizes these disorders as lipoatrophy rather than lipodystrophy.

Acquired Lipodystrophy Resources

Please note that some of these organizations may provide information concerning certain conditions potentially associated with this disorder.

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