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- Weber-Christian disease facts
- What is Weber-Christian disease? What are the risk factors for this disease?
- What is panniculitis?
- What are other symptoms of Weber-Christian disease?
- What causes Weber-Christian disease?
- How is Weber-Christian disease diagnosed?
- What is the prognosis of Weber-Christian disease?
- What is the treatment for Weber-Christian disease?
How is Weber-Christian disease diagnosed?
The diagnosis is made usually by taking a piece of tissue (biopsy) and examining it under a microscope. There is inflammation of the affected fatty lobules (central part of the fat) with increased numbers of white blood cells around the fat and sometimes degeneration or death of fat cells called necrosis.
Laboratory tests using a simple blood draw may be helpful as extra information to suggest inflammation when Weber-Christian disease is suspected. There is no single lab test that completely defines this disease. Abnormal tests such as a highly elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, also called "sed rate" or ESR, may be useful. Additionally, mildly elevated white blood cell count (WBC) on a complete blood cell count (CBC) may be found.
Normal lab tests, including serum and urine amylase and lipase, help to distinguish Weber-Christian from other diseases of the fat caused by pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). A normal alpha-1 antitrypsin level helps to differentiate Weber-Christian disease from a separate fatty inflammatory disease (panniculitis) caused by alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
What is the prognosis of Weber-Christian disease?
The prognosis or long-term outlook is very different for each patient with Weber-Christian disease and depends on the severity of organ involvement. Some patients have mild, intermittent, annoying symptoms, while in others Weber-Christian disease can be fatal. After several years of symptoms, Weber-Christian disease may go away permanently (remission).