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  • BACKGROUND: Lipedema, a complex and enigmatic adipose tissue disorder, remains poorly understood despite its significant impact on the patients' quality of life. Genetic investigations have uncovered potential contributors to its pathogenesis, including somatic mutations, which are nonheritable genetic alterations that can play a pivotal role in the development of this disease. AIM: This review aims to elucidate the role of somatic mutations in the etiology of lipedema by examining their implications in adipose tissue biology, inflammation, and metabolic dysfunction. RESULTS: Studies focusing on leukocyte clones, genetic alterations like TET2 and DNMT3A, and the intricate interplay between adipose tissue and other organs have shed light on the underlying mechanisms driving lipedema. From the study of the scientific literature, mutations to genes correlated to three main pathways could be involved in the somatic development of lipedema: genes related to mitochondrial activity, genes related to localized disorders of subcutaneous adipose tissue, and genes of leukocyte clones. CONCLUSIONS: The insights gained from these diverse studies converge to highlight the complex genetic underpinnings of lipedema and offer potential avenues for therapeutic interventions targeting somatic mutations to alleviate the burden of this condition on affected individuals.

  • BACKGROUND: Mast cells are immune cells that mediate hypersensi-tivity and allergic reactions in the body, secreting histamine and other inflammatory molecules. They have been associated with different inflammatory conditions such as obesity and other adipose tissue di-sorders. Lipedema is a chronic disease characterized by an abnormal accumulation of adipose tissue on the legs and arms, pain, and other symptoms. Mast cells may play a role in the pathology of lipedema. OBJECTIVE: Pilot study to determine levels of histamine and its metabolites in lipedema subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) biopsy samples, and to test sodium cromoglycate for the treatment of mast cells in women with lipedema. METHODS: Biopsies from lipedema and control SAT were collected and analyzed histologically for the presence of mast cells. Mass spec-trometry was used to measure the levels of histamine, a key marker of mast cells, and its metabolites in SAT in women with lipedema and controls, and after a group of women with lipedema were administered oral and topical doses of sodium cromoglycate for two weeks. RESULTS: Histological examination of biopsies from lipedema patients confirmed the presence of mast cells. Metabolomic analysis revealed high levels of histamine and its metabolites in samples from women with lipedema compared to controls. Following a two-week treatment period, lipedema tissue samples exhibited reduced levels of histamine, suggesting a reduction of mast cell activity. CONCLUSION: Sodium cromoglycate has the ability to stabilize mast cells and reduce histamine levels in lipedema patients, which could be useful in lowering the symptoms of lipedema.

  • This study aimed to assess the potential benefits of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet on body composition, leg volume, and pain reduction in women with lipedema compared to overweight or women with obesity. The study included 113 female participants, 56 with lipedema and 57 with overweight/obesity (BMI >25 kg/m2) without lipedema. All subjects were prescribed a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet with anti-inflammatory properties to adhere to for a duration of 7 months. Measurements of anthropometry, body weight, composition, and pain (VAS) were conducted at the study’s commencement and conclusion. 52 participants completed the study. Both groups experienced a similar weight reduction, amounting to 12.9% compared to the baseline (−10.8 kg vs. −11.9 kg; p = 0.14, for lipedema and women with overweight/obesity, respectively). The most reduction was in body fat mass. Improvements in various parameters were observed, except for ankle circumferences, which decreased more in the lipedema group. Lipedema participants showed significantly reduced pain levels following the LCHF diet (4.6 ± 2.6 vs 3.0 ± 2.3; ). The LCHF diet holds promise for weight loss, body fat reduction, leg volume management, and pain alleviation in women with lipedema. These findings provide valuable insights into potential therapeutic strategies for lipedema management.

  • PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review aims to provide an overview of the current evidence on the efficacy, also considering the anti-inflammatory properties and safety of very low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD) as a potential treatment for lipedema, particularly in the context of obesity. RECENT FINDINGS: Lipedema is a chronic disease characterized by abnormal and painful fat buildup on the legs and/or arms. It is often misdiagnosed as obesity or lymphedema. However, although lipedema and obesity can coexist, unlike obesity, lipedema usually affects the legs and thighs without affecting the feet or hands, and the abnormal deposition of adipose tissue in lipedema is painful. The current lifestyle interventions are often unsuccessful in the management of lipedema. There is no consensus on the most effective nutritional approach for managing lipedema. Recent studies have suggested that VLCKD may be an effective treatment for lipedema, demonstrating that it is also superior to other nutritional approaches such as Mediterranean diet or intermittent fasting. Lipedema is a chronic and debilitating disease characterized by abnormal and painful accumulation of adipose tissue in the legs. VLCKD has been shown to be an effective treatment for lipedema, especially in the context of obesity, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, further research is needed to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of VLCKD as a treatment for lipedema.

  • BACKGROUND: Lipedema is a chronic inflammatory subcutaneous adipose-rich connective tissue disease affecting millions of women worldwide. Disproportionate fat accumulation on the extremities characterized by heaviness, tenderness, and swelling can affect function, mobility, and quality of life. Treatments include conservative measures and lipedema reduction surgery (LRS). Here, we report lipedema comorbidities and surgical techniques, outcomes measures, and complications after LRS. METHODS: This is a single outpatient clinic retrospective chart review case series of comorbidities and complications in 189 women with lipedema. Bioelectrical impedance analyses, knee kinematics, gait, physical examinations, Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, and RAND Short Form-36 questionnaires collected before and after LRS were analyzed for 66 of the 189 women. Hemoglobin levels were measured by transdermal hemoglobin monitor (Masimo noninvasive hemoglobin monitoring; Irvine, Calif.). RESULTS: Common comorbidities in 189 women were hypermobile joints (50.5%), spider/varicose veins (48.6/24.5%), arthritis (29.1%), and hypothyroidism (25.9%). The most common complication in 5.5% of these women after LRS was lightheadedness with a 2-g reduction or more in hemoglobin. After conservative measures and LRS in 66 women, significant improvements (P ≤ 0.0009) were found for: (1) knee flexion (10 degrees); (2) gait; (3) Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System T-score (16%); (4) mobility questions: gait velocity, rising from a chair, stair ascent; (5) RAND Short Form-36 scores: physical functioning, energy/fatigue, emotional well-being, social function, general health; (6) and Bioelectrical impedance analyses total and segmental body fat mass. CONCLUSION: LRS provided significant improvements to women with lipedema using direct physical measurements and validated outcome measures, comparable to those seen after total knee replacement.

  • Lipedema is a chronic medical condition characterized by a symmetric buildup of adipose tissue (fat) in the legs and arms. A common but under-recognized disorder, Lipedema may cause pain, swelling, easy bruising, and impaired mobility. During the past decade, Lipedema, which occurs almost exclusively in women, has been demonstrated to be a disease that is distinct from obesity, lymphedema, cellulite, and other adipose conditions. The Lipedema Research Roadmap identifies recommendations to strengthen and grow Lipedema research. It presents a forward-looking summary of gaps in knowledge and opportunities for research and development, sourced from “Lipedema: A Current Understanding of Its Pathology and Natural History” (Lipedema Foundation; preprint, forthcoming), as well as input from authors and advisors. Recommendations are organized into six chapters covering key objectives: fostering the research environment, developing reporting standards and best practices, improving diagnosis, broadening understanding of the biology of the disease, identifying potential treatments, and enhancing epidemiology. The Research Roadmap development process incorporated input from more than 60 stakeholders, including researchers, clinicians, and patients. 24 external reviewers provided more than 1,300 comments and recommended edits.

  • BACKGROUND: National survey data exploring the patient experience with lipedema are lacking. METHODS: We conducted national surveys from 2016 to 2022 of women with lipedema as well as female controls. Surveys collected information on symptomatology, pain, and therapies. We performed logistic regression comparing symptoms among those with lipedema versus controls adjusting for age and BMI. RESULTS: A total of 707 women with lipedema and 216 controls completed the surveys. Those with lipedema had a mean age of 48.6 years and mean BMI of 40.9 kg/m2. Lipedema symptom onset occurred frequently at puberty (48.0%) or pregnancy (41.2%). Compared to controls, women with lipedema were more likely to report leg swelling in heat (odds ratio [OR], 66.82; 95% CI, 33.04-135.12; p < 0.0001), easy bruising (OR, 26.23; 95% CI, 15.58-44.17; p < 0.0001), altered gait (OR, 15.54; 95% CI, 7.58-31.96; p < 0.0001), flu-like symptoms (OR, 12.99; 95% CI, 4.27-39.49; p < 0.0001), joint hypermobility (OR, 12.88; 95% CI, 6.68-24.81; p < 0.0001), cool skin (OR, 12.21; 95% CI, 5.20-28.69; p < 0.0001), varicose veins (OR, 11.29; 95% CI, 6.71-18.99; p < 0.0001), and fatigue (OR, 9.59; 95% CI, 6.10-15.09; p < 0.0001). Additionally, 70.3% had upper arm involvement, 21.2% reported foot swelling, and 16.6% reported foot pain. Most (52.2%) reported no symptom improvement with diet or exercise. Common therapies used included compression therapy (45.0%), gastric bypass (15.7%), and lower-extremity liposuction (14.0%). CONCLUSION: In a large, national, symptom survey, women with lipedema reported excess pain, swelling, and fat in the legs along with numerous symptoms beyond those classically described. Symptom responses to common therapies remain understudied.

  • Background: Lipedema is a chronic and progressive disease. Many complications can occur if the disease is not treated. The most important of these complications is lipedema with secondary lymphedema. There are very few publications about lipedema with secondary lymphedema. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of physical therapy on lower extremity circumference and volume in patients suffering from lipedema with secondary lymphedema. Methods and Results: All patients received pneumatic compression and complex decongestive therapy (CDT). Perometer measurement was made at five distinct points. Fifteen patients were included in the study. It was seen that significant reduction was found in the circumference of three of the five points of measurements performed in the left leg, whereas significant reduction was found in the circumference of four of the five points of measurements performed in the right leg. Also, there was a decrease in the extremity volume in both legs. Conclusion: Combined application of CDT and pneumatic compression in patients suffering from lipedema with secondary lymphedema is an effective treatment method in reducing lower extremity volume and circumference measurement.

  • BACKGROUND: Diagnosing lipedema remains a challenge due to its heterogeneous presentation, co-existing diseases, and the lack of objective diagnostic imaging. OBJECTIVE: This systematic review aims to outline the currently available diagnostic imaging methods to characterize lipedema in the legs along with their diagnostic performance. METHODS: PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched. The quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies (QUADAS) tool was used for quality assessment. RESULTS: Thirty-two studies describing a total of 1154 patients with lipedema were included for final analysis. Features for lipedema have been defined using ultrasound (increased subcutaneous adipose tissue), lymphoscintigraphy (slowing of the lymphatic flow and a frequent asymmetry between the lower extremities), computed tomography (symmetrical bilateral soft tissue enlargement without either skin thickening or subcutaneous edema), magnetic resonance imaging (increased subcutaneous adipose tissue), MR lymphangiography (enlarged lymphatic vessels up to a diameter of 2 mm), and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (fat mass in the legs adjusted for body mass index (BMI) ≥ 0.46 or fat mass in the legs adjusted for total fat mass ≥ 0.384). CONCLUSION: The diagnostic performance of currently available imaging modalities for assessing lipedema is limited. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate and compare the diagnostic performance of each imaging modality. Imaging techniques focusing on the pathogenesis of the disease are needed.

  • Lipedema is a chronic disorder that mainly affects women. It is often misdiagnosed, and its etiology remains unknown. Recent research indicates an accumulation of macrophages and a shift in macrophage polarization in lipedema. One known protein superfamily that contributes to macrophage accumulation and polarization is the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) family. MIF-1 and MIF-2 are ubiquitously expressed and also regulate inflammatory processes in adipose tissue. In this study, the expression of MIF-1, MIF-2 and CD74—a common receptor for both cytokines—was analyzed in tissue samples of 11 lipedema and 11 BMI-matched, age-matched and anatomically matched control patients using qPCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The mRNA expression of MIF-1 (mean 1.256; SD 0.303; p = 0.0485) and CD74 (mean 1.514; SD 0.397; p = 0.0097) were significantly elevated in lipedema patients, while MIF-2 expression was unaffected (mean 1.004; SD 0.358; p = 0.9718). The IHC analysis corroborated the results for CD74 expression on a cellular level. In conclusion, our results provide first evidence for a potential involvement of the MIF family, presumably via the MIF-1-CD74 axis, in lipedema.

  • Lymphedema and specifically cancer-related lymphedema is not the main focus for both patients and physicians dealing with cancer. Its etiology is an unfortunate complication of cancer treatment. Although lymphedema treatments have gained an appreciable consensus, many practitioners have developed and prefer their own specific protocols and this is especially true for conventional (manual) versus surgical treatments. This collection of presentations explores the incidence and genetics of cancer-related lymphedema, early detection and monitoring techniques, both conventional and operative treatment options, and the importance and role of exercise for patients with cancer-related lymphedema. These assembled presentations provide valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by cancer-related lymphedema including the latest research, treatments, and exercises available to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

  • Lipedema is a connective tissue disorder characterized by increased dilated blood vessels (angiogenesis), inflammation, and fibrosis of the subcutaneous adipose tissue. This project aims to gain insights into the angiogenic processes in lipedema using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as an in vitro model. HUVECs were cultured in conditioned media (CM) collected from healthy (non-lipedema, AQH) and lipedema adipocytes (AQL). The impacts on the expression levels of multiple endothelial and angiogenic markers [CD31, von Willebrand Factor (vWF), angiopoietin 2 (ANG2), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs), NOTCH and its ligands] in HUVECs were investigated. The data demonstrate an increased expression of CD31 and ANG2 at both the gene and protein levels in HUVECs treated with AQL CM in 2D monolayer and 3D cultures compared to untreated cells. Furthermore, the expression of the vWF, NOTCH 4, and DELTA-4 genes decreased. In contrast, increased VEGF, MMP9, and HGF gene expression was detected in HUVECs treated with AQL CM cultured in a 2D monolayer. In addition, the results of a tube formation assay indicate that the number of formed tubes increased in lipedema-treated HUVECs cultured in a 2D monolayer. Together, the data indicate that lipedema adipocyte-CM promotes angiogenesis through paracrine-driven mechanisms.

  • BACKGROUND: Lipedema, also known as lipohyperplasia dolorosa (LiDo), is a painful condition affecting women, causing a disproportionate accumulation of subcutaneous adipose tissue in the extremities. It carries a lower risk of diabetes and cardio-metabolic dysfunctions compared to obesity, but coincident obesity can complicate diagnosis and treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This retrospective study included 607 female LiDo patients, ≥ 18 years, stage 1-3, from Germany, the UK, and Spain. Data were collected as part of the standard initial assessment for LiDo patients. RESULTS: Based on waist-to-height-ratio (WHtR), 15.2% of patients were underweight, 45.5% normal weight, 22.1% overweight and 17.3% obese. There was a significant association between WHtR category and age group. Body mass index (BMI) is often overestimated, leading to misdiagnosis of obesity. CONCLUSIONS: The use of BMI also affects the recent decision of the German Federal Joint Committee on the reimbursement of liposuction costs by health insurance funds. Patients with BMI of more than 40 kg/m2 are excluded from cost coverage, and those with BMI between 35 kg/m2 and 40 kg/m2 must first receive conservative obesity therapy. In conclusion, the sole use of BMI in lipedema is unreliable and, in contrast to WHtR, leads to inaccurate diagnoses overestimating overweight and obesity.

  • Lipoedema is an adipose tissue disorder that is still not fully understood. The primary purpose of this study is to explore the state of knowledge and understanding of lipoedema among Polish women. The secondary aim is to investigate the possible association between knowledge and factors such as BMI, self-reported symptoms, and age.

  • BACKGROUND: Lipedema is a chronic disease marked by symmetric enlargement of painful nodular and fibrotic adipose tissue, predominantly affecting the limbs. Since there is no specific test or biomarker for this condition, years often pass before the diagnosis of lipedema is established for the first time, thereby causing psychosocial distress, including depression, eating disorders, and social isolation. Over the last few years several advanced Doppler-based technologies have been developed to visualize slow flow blood vessels and superficial microvascular architecture undetectable by traditional color Doppler flow imaging (CDFI). OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the superficial microvascular anatomy in lipedema patients compared to healthy controls and investigate the clinical significance of the Ultra Micro Angiography (UMA) technology in the diagnosis of lipedema. This new technique may contribute to reduce the diagnostic delay and, eventually, establish and guide treatment strategies toward a better therapeutic outcome in lipedema patients. METHODS: 25 patients with lipedema and ten healthy controls with no history of lipedema were included in this study. All ultrasound examinations were performed on a novel high-performance ultrasound system (Resona R9/Mindray) using CDFI and the UMA technique. RESULTS: In all of the patients, Ultra Micro Angiography achieved the excellent visualization of microvascular structures, revealing that most lipedema patients showed grade 3 (n = 13) or grade 2 (n = 8) flow. UMA was superior to CDFI for depicting the microvascular structures. CONCLUSIONS: Here we show that UMA imaging characterizes the subcutaneous microvasculature with an unprecedented accuracy. The method has the advantage of being sensitive to small, slow-flowing vessels. This allows for the assessment of the course of vessels and vascular pathologies in great detail. Thus, UMA as a non-invasive diagnostic method can improve diagnostic accuracy in lipedema.

  • In recent years, the use of the ketogenic diet as a proper nutritional treatment for lipedema has been hypothesized in the literature. This is the first clinical study evaluating the ketogenic diet and carboxytherapy in lipedema patients. In the present study, it was decided to use a modified Mediterranean ketogenic diet (MMKD) in combination with carboxytherapy. Since lipedema is characterized by microangiopathy, local hypoxia, and increased subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) deposition, carboxytherapy could improve painful symptoms and skin tone. A total of 22 subjects were included in the data analysis, divided into three groups; 8 patients underwent MMKD combined with carboxytherapy sessions (KDCB group), 8 underwent MMKD nutritional treatment alone (KD group), and 6 patients underwent only carboxytherapy sessions (CB group), for a total of 10 weeks of treatment for all three groups. It was observed that the ketogenic diet effectively induced weight and fat mass loss, including in the limbs, areas considered unresponsive to diet therapy in lipedema patients. However, the best results were obtained from the combination of the ketogenic diet and carboxytherapy, which showed improvements in both body composition and skin texture and a reduction in pain, along with an improvement in sleep quality. It would be helpful to conduct a clinical trial on a larger scale and over a more extended period to observe the results in the long term as well.

  • Background: The presence of edema in patients with lipedema has been investigated in many studies. However, no study has been found that examines the amount of intracellular (ICF) and extracellular fluid (ECF) in these patients together. The aim of this study is to examine the amount of ICF and ECF in patients with stage 2 lipedema. Methods and Results: Twenty-four patients diagnosed with stage 2 lipedema were included in the study. Bioimpedance spectroscopy was applied to measure extracellular and intracellular water levels. The mean age of the participants was 44.58 ± 2.95 years. The mean body mass index (BMI) of the participants was 33.9 ± 1.84 kg/m2. It was observed that the amount of ECF in the patients was above the normal values (p < 0.001), whereas the amount of ICF was within the normal range (p = 0.801). In addition, it was observed that there was a moderate relationship between BMI and the amount of ECF. Conclusion: Although the amount of ICF is within the normal range in patients with lipedema, an increase in ECF is observed. The reason why edema is not observed in these patients despite the increase in ECF may be the increase in glycosaminoglycan and proteoglycan synthesis. In addition, the attention of these patients to weight control may contribute to slowing the course of the disease by preventing the increase in the amount of ECF. For a better diagnosis of lipedema, it is considered important to evaluate the amount of ECF in addition to routine evaluations.

  • Pain, which is a central characteristic of lipedema, allows differentiation from other fat tissue diseases. The analysis of the multiple aspects of pain beyond a quantification of pain scale scores could make molecular disease and therapy mechanisms accessible. Lipedema pain is causally linked to lipedema fat. First robust data show peripheral sensory changes. Tissue weight and systemic inflammation are becoming less likely as causes for the experianced pain. Furthermore, genetics and hormonal influences need to be investigated. Lipedema pain cannot currently be treated with drugs. Physical therapy shows transient relief. Liposuction has been shown to have a long-term effect on pain. The potential of modulating the perception of pain with psychotherapeutic approaches is emerging as a potentially effective new therapeutic approach.

  • Lipohyperplasia dolorosa (LiDo) is a genetic, painful fat tissue distribution disorder with lymphological high-volume transport insufficiency. It often has negative effects on the psychological well-being of affected female adolescents and adults. Similar in appearance to the development of obesity, the patients experience similar negative reactions in their families, partners and friends. The development of the LiDo usually occurs in adolescence or following pregnancy and represents a considerable psychological burden in central phases of narcissistic development. These psychological impairments caused by LiDo are long-term companions and influence interpersonal relationships. Three case vignettes serve for clarification. In the first case, the LiDo seems to be "grafted" onto a neurotic conflict, which intensifies the acute and chronic pain of the person affected. In the second case, the affected person shows defense mechanisms in contact, which are evidence of a high level of stress and require considerable sensitivity by the person's social circle during interactions. In the third case, after intensively addressing various aspects of the disease, the person received medical treatment from a specialist and underwent several surgeries. The positive effects on physical and psychological well-being are stabilized by psychological support. Seen as an option, those affected can decide for or against surgical treatment. As a consequence of the treatment, the previously rejected extremities become more integrated, arms and legs fit back into the person's own physical image of the body. This positive change also extends to the intrapsychic self-image of the body.

Last update from database: 7/15/24, 7:40 AM (UTC)