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Ann Ital Med Int. 2005 Jul-Sep;20(3):187-91.

[Dercum's disease: a case report].

[Article in Italian]

Author information

  • 1Cattedra di Medicina Interna II, Dipartimento Internistico 2, Universit√† degli Studi di Cagliari, Policlinico di Monserrato.


A case of Dercum's disease in a 51-year-old obese woman with a history of brain vasculitis, and painful subcutaneous multiple lipomas is described. This disease, included in the category of rare diseases by the World Health Organization, first described in 1892 by Francis Xavier Dercum, is characterized by its prevalence among women, its familiarity, by the presence of multiple painful subcutaneous lipomas and its association with obesity, hypercholesterolemia and asthenia. The disease has to be differentiated from Madelung syndrome, the multiple familiar lipomatosis and Proteus' syndrome. The quality of life of the patients is often poor and since treatments so far have not been conclusive a better knowledge of the pathogenesis of the disease is desirable.

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