Lipodystrophy or lipoatrophy is primary idiopathic atrophy of adipose tissue. Lipodystrophy is a very rare disorder with no known etiology. Lipodystrophy can be total, partial, or localized.
Total lipodystrophy consists of congenital or acquired complete loss of adipose tissue usually associated with hepatomegaly, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and hypermetabolism.
Partial lipodystrophy is manifested as symmetrical loss of facial fat tissue with or without similar atrophy of the arms and upper part of the trunk. This syndrome has been associated with renal disease, glomerulonephritis, diabetes, hirsutism, hyperlipidemia, hypocomplementemia, and immunologic disorders. Localized lipodystrophy is localized loss of adipose tissue, usually involving multiple areas.
This article focuses on localized lipodystrophy; total and partial lipodystrophy are not discussed further in this article.