Dercum's Disease (Dercum Disease, Adiposis Dolorosa) Articles available HERE!

We have collected a number of Dercum articles, and have made them available on this site.  They are:  

Overview Article This article, by Håkan Brorson and Birger Fagher, is a good description and overview of the disease. (please be patient - it's a long article with lots of pictures and takes time to load).
Original article in Swedish.
Dercum´s disease - a frequently overlooked disease picture. This article, written by Dr. Johann Steiner and associates, use to be on the website. When the website disappeared I wrote to Dr. Steiner and offered to host his article. He gladly accepted and sent me the article and artwork.
A Pain in the Groin - This article is of great interest because it is the story of an older woman with a history of Dercum's Disease who goes to her doctor with a pain in her groin.  They end up doing a hysterectomy and other stuff, and the pain did not go away.  Finally, after some months, as the pain got worse, the doctors were able to convince the women to go back into surgery (she was not keen on it, since the previous surgeries did not solve the problem) and  they finally operated on her again and took out a sizable lipoma.
Maureen has talked to a lady who had a similar pain, and the doctor took out her appendix to relieve the pain.  He took out the wrong thing.  Again, it was a Dercum's lipoma. [ Reference #54]  This article is also courtesy of The Lancet.
Lethal infection by a previously unrecognised metazoan parasite  - 1996 - This article was written by a number of doctors in the San Francisco/San Jose area.  The summary states:  
"An HIV-infected man developed a rapidly-enlarging abdominal mass, suggestive of a neoplasm, that subsequently invaded his liver and caused death. Initial studies showed unusual tissue morphology that could not be matched with any known disease process."
Sort of sounds like the Dercum's tumors, but who knows?  The Lancet has kindly given us permission to post their article, so click on the link, read the article, and see what you think.
An Update!!!
On 03/12/2002 Dr Peter D Olson ( of London, UK, made this comment (in the guestbook) on the article:
"As one of the authors of the Lancet article featured on your site ("Lethal infection..."), I can assure you that this case simply does not speak Dercum's disease--as the data showed in the article, the pathology was a result of an infection with a larval tapeworm which we have subsequently determined to be Hymenolepis nana, the common dwarf tapeworm. Please don't confuse the issue further by ignoring the evidence of the case."
It may not speak of Dercum's disease, but it is interesting to see that a parasite caused a lethal tumor.  Since medical research doesn't have a clue at to what causes Dercum's, one possible hypothesis is that Dercum's might be caused by a parasite (or a virus or a bacterium).  Has anyone ever minutely dissected a Dercum's disease tumor looking for such things?  Usually it is dismissed as a common fatty lipoma, and relegated to the trash.  Note that another article (see #57 abstract) indicates that the Dercum's fat has different characteristics than "normal" fat.  Hmmm.
Fat Cell Article - 1991 - This article was written by Drs. Fagher, Monti, Nilsson-Ehle and Åkesson (Dr. Fagher is the co-author of the overview article above).  This highlights the different characteristics of Dercum's fat from "normal" fat.  You can wave this in your doctor's face and tell him not all fat is the same!!!   ;-)
The Nervous System and Adipose Tissue - 1989 - This is a very informative article about the characteristics of adipose tissue.
Greenbaum Article - 1991 - This article was written by Drs. Greenbaum and Varga and highlight a case of Dercum's that was CAUSED by Corticosteroids!
Spreading a New Idea on Disease - 1999 - This was an article, by Thomas H. Maugh II, that appeared in the Los Angeles Times (that someone else put on their website).  It discusses the possibility that viruses,  bacteria and nanobacteria might be responsible for diseases not previously linked to such agents.  Interesting reading.
First Dercum Article - 1888 - This was the article that Dr. Dercum wrote described the symptoms without naming the  disease.
Article naming Adiposis Dolorosa - 1892 - This is the article that described three cases of the disease and gave the disease its name (or at least one of them).

In researching this topic, I have found that very few of the articles are available on the web.  Medline is a source of references, but only a few of the articles even have an abstract or a summary of what the article is about.  Aside from the ones mentioneed above, here is one located elsewhere:

Reference #59

Brenner, Sarah, and Yael Politi. "Dermatologic Diseases and Problems of Women throughout the Life Cycle," International Journal of Dermatology 34, no. 6 (June 1995): 369-379. [This use to be on the vulvar pain website]

If you read the section on Dercum's Disease (Adiposis Dolorosa), which is almost at the end of the article, you would think that the authors would be able to answer some questions about the disease.  Maureen tried calling Dr. Brenner several times, and was finally told that the only way to contact her send a fax.  So Maureen send a several page fax, and got a reply.  Here is the correspondence.

Hope you find these articles useful.


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Last Modified on 29 July 2009

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