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Abhimanyu Garg, M.D. Answers Questions On Lipodystrophy and Adipose Tissue Disorders

Abhimanyu Garg, M.D. Answers Questions On: Lipodystrophy and Adipose Tissue Disorders

What is lipodystrophy?

Lipodystrophies are disorders of adipose tissue (fat) characterized by selective loss of fat from various parts of the body. There are several different types of lipodystrophies, and the degree of fat loss may vary from very small depressed areas to near complete absence of adipose tissue.

Is lipodystrophy difficult to diagnose?

It’s difficult to diagnose because it’s rare. Not many physicians have seen it in their lifetime, so it’s not always clear to them when they see a patient who may have lipodystrophy.

What’s the process when a patient is referred to you?

If they are far away, we will ask them to send their physician’s notes, lab results, and pictures so we can understand a bit better what we’re dealing with before they come in person.

If they are a candidate for our research program, we send them a special kit in which they can send us back blood samples so we can start molecular testing.

If they have already been diagnosed and they are seeking my advice for management or treatment, I see them in the clinic and discuss the different options.

What’s the prognosis for lipodystrophy patients?

Some of them have premature mortality, but it really depends on the subtype. Some patients have a lifespan that’s comparable to someone with diabetes, for example.