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J Dermatol. 1992 Apr;19(4):246-9.

Lipoatrophic diabetes.

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Department of Dermatology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Japan.


A female patient with acanthosis nigricans, insulin resistant diabetes, and generalized lipoatrophy is reported. The patient developed skin pigmentation and acanthosis nigricans around the age of 34. Arthralgia, muscle weakness, and peripheral neuropathy were also present when she first visited us at 36 years of age. Dermatomyositis, systemic sclerosis, and internal malignancy were ruled out, and the diagnosis of acanthosis nigricans and insulin resistant diabetes was made. Her diabetes gradually worsened and, since the age of 39, she has been treated with an oral anti-diabetic drug. Around the age of 47, generalized lipoatrophy became prominent. Insulin receptor studies ruled out insulin resistant diabetes type A and B. At this point, we diagnosed this patient as having lipoatrophic diabetes, which is a syndrome characterized by insulin resistant diabetes, acanthosis nigricans, generalized lipoatrophy, and other metabolic disturbances. The control of her diabetes has been poor, and diabetic neuropathy and lipoatrophy-induced painful skin lesions such as clavus and tylosis have been persistent. The present case indicates the importance of careful skin examinations in the diagnosis of this syndrome.

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