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Dercum's disease (adiposis dolorosa)

  • P. H. Reece (a1), M. Wyatt (a1) and P. O'Flynn (a1)


Dercum's disease (adiposis dolorosa) is a rare condition characterized by progressively painful fatty deposits, usually, in menopausal women with obesity, asthenia and mental phenomena. We report a case of a 48-year-old woman with recurrent neck swelling and pain in the neck and parotid region, and a review of management of this uncommon problem.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr. P. H. Reece, 14 Stanwick Road, London W14 8UH.


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Atkinson, R. L. (1982) Intravenous lidocaine for the treatment of intractable pain of adiposis dolorosa. International Journal of Obesity 6: 351357.
Blomstrand, R., Juhlin, L., Nordenstam, H., Ohlsson, R., Werner, B., Engstrom, J. (1971) Adipsis dolorosa with defects of lipid metabolism. Acta Dermatovener 51: 243250.
Cantu, J. M., Ruiz-Barquin, E., Jimenez, M., Castillo, L., Macotela-Ruiz, E. (1973) Autosomal dominant inheritance in adiposis dolorosa (Dercum's disease). Humangenetik 18: 8991.
DeFranzo, A. J., Hall, J. H., Herring, S. M. (1990) Adiposis dolorosa (Dercum's disease): Liposuction as an effective form of treatment. Plastic Reconstructive Surgery 85: 606.
Dercum, F. X. (1892) Three cases of a hitherto unclassified affection resembling in its grosser aspects obesity, but associated with special nervous symptoms – Adiposis dolorosa. American Journal of Medical Science 104: 521.
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Jensen, J. J., Kiilerich, S. (1991) A case of adiposis dolorosa - Dercum's disease. Ugeskrift for Laeger 153: 3564.
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Pimenta, W. P., Paula, F. J. A., Dick-De-Paula, I., Piccanto, C. E., Monteiro, C. M. C., Brandao-Neto, J., Kettlehut, I. C., Foss, M. C. (1992) Hormonal and metabolic study of a case of adiposis dolorosa. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 25: 889893.
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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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