This article was originally published here
Yale J Biol Med. 2021 Dec 29;94(4):603-608. eCollection 2021 Dec.
Dercum’s disease (DD), also described as adiposis dolorosa, is a poorly understood and rare adipose tissue disorder involving obesity and painful adipose tissue masses. Patients may have associated bruising and constitutional symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbance. DD was initially described in 1888 by Francis Xavier Dercum, and was classified into four subtypes, including generalized diffuse, generalized nodular, localized nodular, and juxta-articular subtypes. While this disease has been described for more than 130 years, its etiology and treatment remain elusive. We describe a case of a patient with DD who presented to Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA, for evaluation of treatment options. We review current knowledge on this rare disease and data on modern treatment methods.