Lipedema: a case report

  • NE Essen
  • YM Olumide
  • NC Ahamefule
  • CL Onyekonwu
  • S Ayanlowo
  • TT Mohammed


Lipedema, variously termed fat edema, or mucoid pseudoedema is characterized by diffuse, bilaterally symmetrical swelling of any of the extremities. We report a 65 year-old man with lipedema. He presented with bilateral massive, painful swelling of both legs, sparing the feet. There was no history of repeated antecedent cellulitis of the legs nor other risk factors. There was also no known family history of leg swelling. Elevation of the legs made no appreciable difference to the swelling. The notable differential diagnosis of lipedema is lymphedema. In lipedema, the feet or hands are usually spared, unlike lymphedema. In lipedema there is a shart cut off between involved and uninvolved skin at the ankle or wrist. There is hypothermia of the overlying skin in lipedema, and the chronic skin changes of hyperkeratosis are usually absent in lipedema except complicated by lymphedema. There are usually no abnormal laboratory values.

Keywords: lipedema-lymphedema-different

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 49(6) 2006:169-171

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eISSN: 0189-0964