Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief:
Lipodystrophy is a medical condition characterized by abnormal or degenerative conditions of the body's adipose tissue. ("Lipo" is Latin for "fat" and "dystrophy" is Latin for "abnormal or degenerative condition".) A more specific term, lipoatrophy is used when describing the loss of fat from one area (usually the face).
A lipodystrophy can be a lump or small dent in the skin that forms when a person keeps performing injections in the same spot. These types of lipodystrophies are harmless. People who want to avoid them can do so by changing (rotating) the places where they perform injections. For people with diabetes, using purified insulins may also help.
One of the side-effects of lipodystrophy is the rejection of the injected medication, the slowing down of the absorption of the medication, or trauma that can cause bleeding that, in turn, will reject the medication. In either scenarios, the dosage of the medication, such as insulin for diabetics, becomes impossible to gauge correctly and the treatment of the disease for which the medication is administered is impaired thereby allowing the medical condition to worsen.
In some cases, rotation of the injection sites may not be enough to prevent lipodystrophy.
Lipodystrophies can be a possible side effect of antiretroviral drugs such as Dolutegravir, lamivudine, Rilpivirine, Ritonavir, Saquinavir mesylate. Other lipodystrophies manifest as lipid redistribution; with excess, or lack of, fat in various regions of the body. These include, but are not limited to, having sunken cheeks and/or "humps" on the back or back of the neck (also referred to as buffalo hump).
Lipodystrophy can be caused by metabolic abnormalities due to genetic issues. These are often characterized by insulin resistance and are associated with Syndrome X.
- ↑ Physical and Biochemical Changes in HIV Disease Eric S. Daar, M.D. MedicineNet, Accessed 22 September 2007
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