Category Archives: Causes

DERCUM’S DISEASE: AN OVERVIEW OF CLASSIFICATION, CLINICALPRESENTATION, DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA AND MANAGEMENT

Dercum’s disease is a rare disorder described by generalized obesity with painful adipose tissue. The clinical symptoms presented were multiple painful fatty masses, fatiguablity, swelling of fingers, morning stiffness, cognitive dysfunction, headache, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, bloating, constipation, easy bruisability, joint aches, muscle aches, mood swing, delirium and dementia. Dercum’s disease affects women …

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Case Study: Temporal Adiposis Dolorosa

The clinical and imaging features are consistent with focal adiposis dolorosa likely associated with long-term glucocorticoid use. Adiposis dolorosa (Dercum’s disease) refers to painful fatty tissue in an overweight or obese individual. The epidemiology, etiology and pathogenesis of adiposis dolorosa are not clear but long-term glucocorticoid use for rheumatologic diseases has been associated with focal …

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Dercum’s Disease – A Mimic of Fibromyalgia

Authors: Gihyun Myung, M.D., and Meike A. Fang, M.D. Case Report A 40-year-old Caucasian male with a history of depression, alcohol abuse, and traumatic splenectomy to the Rheumatology Clinic for management of chronic body pain that started about 12 years ago. He reported having sharp, intermittent shoulder, finger, knee, and hip pain not alleviated by …

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Nerve Compression

Pain & weakness from Dercum’s Disease (adiposis dolorosa) is  often attributed to lipomas (fatty deposits) applying pressure to nerves.  This explanation is included in many definitions of the disease [1,2,3].  This theory has not been confirmed histopathologically in patients with Dercum’s Disease[4]. However, nerve compression secondary to adjacent lipomas is a recognized medical condition[5,6,7]. Most lipomas are …

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Pelvic Lipomatosis

Pelvic lipomatosis is a rare disorder where fat tissue deposition is observed in spaces of the pelvic area, causing extrinsic compression of the bladder, rectum and blood vessels. Pelvic lipomatosis might represent a variant of Dercum’s disease. The clinical manifestations result from the extrinsic compression of the structures comprising the urinary system, the lower intestinal …

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Depression in Dercum’s disease and in obesity

A case control study Emma Hansson, Henry Svensson and Håkan Brorson BMC Psychiatry 2012, 12:74 doi:10.1186/1471-244X-12-74 Published: 3 July 2012 Background Dercum’s disease is characterised by pronounced pain in the adipose tissue and a number of associated symptoms. The condition is usually accompanied by generalised weight gain. Many of the associated symptoms could also be signs of depression. Depression in Dercum’s …

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*Review*

Review of Dercum’s disease and proposal of diagnostic criteria, diagnostic methods, classification and management:  Up-to-date review of Dercums Disease research.  http://www.ojrd.com/content/pdf/1750-1172-7-23.pdf

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Adipose Tissue Dysfunction

It has been proposed that Dercum’s disease is a local defect in lipid metabolism [1]. An investigation [1] of fatty acid biosynthesis in two patients with Dercum’s disease suggested that there might be a deficit in the formation of monounsaturated fatty acids in subjects affected by the disease. However, contradictory findings were revealed in another study, comprised …

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Endocrine Dysfunction

Originally, Dercum [1] attributed the disease to an endocrine dysfunction, as he found atrophy of the thyroid gland. Similarly, Waldorp [2] proposed that the disease is caused by hypophyseal dysfunction. Furthermore, Winkelman and Eckel [3] reviewed 16 autopsies of patients affected with Dercum’s disease and noted varying abnormalities in different endocrine organs. In their study, the pituitary …

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Nervous System Dysfunction

It has been suggested that the autonomous nervous system mediates pain in Dercum’s disease[1]. The theory is supported in that, even though the sympathetic nervous system is efferent, sympathectomy sometimes relieves pain in neuropathic pain, where evidence of damage to neural structures exists [2]. This has been explained by the formation of abnormal connections between autonomic …

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Trauma

Two cases of trauma-induced [1,2] Dercum’s disease have been described. The first patient developed a painful fatty tumour, which was very sensitive to pressure and gave rise to much spontaneous pain, after falling on a stone pavement. The painful adipose tissue lingered for a year after the disappearance of the bruises [2]. In the second …

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