Familial symmetric lipomatosis
Madelung's disease, Launois-Bensaude adenolipomatosis, Multiple symmetric lipomatosis
Type of disease: Rare conditions
Madelung disease is a rare condition characterized by the symmetric growth of fatty tumors (lipomas) around the neck, shoulders, upper arms and/or upper trunk. It most often affects men of Mediterranean ancestry between the ages of 30 and 70 who have a history of alcohol abuse. Non-alcoholics and women can also be affected. The signs and symptoms vary greatly from person to person. Usually, accumulation of fatty tissue increases over time and may lead to a loss of neck mobility and pain. The lipomas can cause physical deformity and peripheral neuropathy. In the majority of cases, the disease is benign; however, lipomas can become cancerous in rare circumstances. The exact cause of Madelung disease is unknown, but it may be associated with changes (mutations) in mitochondrial DNA and/or alcoholism. Treatment may include medications to correct associated metabolic conditions; surgery or liposuction to remove the lipomas; and avoidance of alcohol. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.