Lipodystrophy: A disorder of adipose (fatty) tissue characterized by a selective loss of body fat. Patients with lipodystrophy have a tendency to develop insulin resistance, diabetes, a high triglyceride level (hypertriglyceridemia), and fatty liver. There are numerous forms of lipodystrophy that are genetic (inherited) or acquired (not inherited).
The genetic forms of lipodystrophy include congenital generalized lipodystrophy (the Berardinelli-Seip syndrome) and several types of familial partial lipodystrophy (the Dunnigan type, the Kobberling type, the mandibuloacral dysplasia type).
The acquired forms of lipodystrophy include acquired generalized lipodystrophy (the Lawrence syndrome), acquired partial lipodystrophy (the Barraquer-Simons syndrome), and lipodystrophy induced by protease inhibitors used to treat HIV.
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Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016