By Gary M. White, MD
Madelung's disease, also known as benign symmetric lipomatosis, presents as horse collar infiltration of the neck, shoulders and upper trunk with fat.
- The mean age of onset in one study was 45.5 years.
- Men are more commonly affected than women.
- Rarely tracheal compression has required tracheostomy.
- It has been suggested that high alcohol intake is often associated.
Benign, nonencapsulated fatty masses enlargement of the tissue around the head and neck, the trunk and the upper extremities occurs.
Weight loss does not help. Surgical debulking and liposuction have been tried and may be helpful. If no functional impairment occurs, therapy may not be needed.
A 68-year-old man with an extended history of heavy alcohol use presented with soft, painless and slow-growing swellings over his neck, shoulders and head. CMAJ. 2013 Jan 8; 185(1): E79.
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