Multiple Symmetrical Lipomatosis: Madelung’s Disease

Margarida Carvalho, Pedro Palma, Filipa Silva, Marta Patacho, Fatima Coelho


Multiple symmetric lipomatosis or Madelung’s disease is a rare condition which is characterized by multiple symmetric and disfiguring accumulation of non-capsulated fat tissue depositions mostly in upper arms, neck, and shoulder areas. The disease etiology is unknown, with the highest incidence in the Mediterranean region and an association with alcohol abuse. We present a case of a patient admitted to our internal medicine department for cervical mass study. This patient was already studied by his general practitioner because of thyroid disease suspicion. During our study, diagnosis of Madelung’s disease with typical fat depositions was established. This article is a short review of the topic and points out the possible diagnostic difficulties presented in early stages of the disease.

J Med Cases. 2016;7(5):178-180


Madelung’s disease; Multiple symmetrical lipomatosis; Etiology

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