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Dercum's disease is the formation of multiple fatty deposits in various sites.
This is a rare disease that predominantly affects women over men in a ratio of up to 30:1 (1)
This condition may be familial but the majority of cases are sporadic.
It is characterized by the formation of circumscribed painful adipose tissue deposits in the subcutaneous tissues of the extremities and other parts of the body. The most common site for the deposits is the knees. The size of lesions varies from 0.5 to 5 cm. Patients are often obese.
The disease may be associated with emotional instability, fatigue, weakness and, very occasionally, dementia.
Histological examination reveals no abnormalities of the adipose tissue. There is no fat necrosis as seen in panniculitis. Giant cell formations may be seen.
There is no satisfactory treatment