Last Updated: 01/07/2023
Familial partial lipodystrophy is a rare condition characterized by an abnormal distribution of fatty (adipose) tissue. Adipose tissue is normally found in many parts of the body, including beneath the skin and surrounding the internal organs. It stores fat as a source of energy and also provides cushioning. In people with familial partial lipodystrophy, adipose tissue is lost from the arms, legs, and hips, giving these parts of the body a very muscular appearance. The fat that cannot be stored in the limbs builds up around the face and neck, and inside the abdomen. Excess fat in these areas gives individuals an appearance described as "cushingoid," because it resembles the physical features associated with a hormonal disorder called Cushing disease. This abnormal fat distribution can begin anytime from childhood to adulthood.
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