An abnormal lymphatic phenotype is associated with subcutaneous adipose tissue deposits in Dercum's disease

John C. Rasmussen, Karen L. Herbst, Melissa B. Aldrich, Chinmay D. Darne, I. Chih Tan, Banghe Zhu, Renie Guilliod, Caroline E. Fife, Erik A. Maus, Eva M. Sevick-Muraca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Investigational, near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) lymphatic imaging was used to assess lymphatic architecture and contractile function in participants diagnosed with Dercum's disease, a rare, poorly understood disorder characterized by painful lipomas in subcutaneous adipose tissues. Methods: After informed consent and as part of an FDA-approved feasibility study to evaluate lymphatics in diseases in which their contribution has been implicated, three women diagnosed with Dercum's disease and four control subjects were imaged. Each participant received multiple intradermal and subcutaneous injections of indocyanine green (ICG, total dose ≤400 μg) in arms, legs, and/or trunk. Immediately after injection, ICG was taken up by the lymphatics and NIRF imaging was conducted. Results: The lymphatics in the participants with Dercum's disease were intact and dilated, yet sluggishly propelled lymph when compared to control lymphatics. Palpation of regions containing fluorescent lymphatic pathways revealed tender, fibrotic, tubular structures within the subcutaneous adipose tissue that were associated with painful nodules, and, in some cases, masses of fluorescent tissue indicating that some lipomas may represent tertiary lymphoid tissues. Conclusions: These data support the hypothesis that Dercum's disease may be a lymphovascular disorder and suggest a possible association between abnormal adipose tissue deposition and abnormal lymphatic structure and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2186-2192
Number of pages7
JournalObesity
Volume22
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An abnormal lymphatic phenotype is associated with subcutaneous adipose tissue deposits in Dercum's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Rasmussen, J. C., Herbst, K. L., Aldrich, M. B., Darne, C. D., Tan, I. C., Zhu, B., Guilliod, R., Fife, C. E., Maus, E. A., & Sevick-Muraca, E. M. (2014). An abnormal lymphatic phenotype is associated with subcutaneous adipose tissue deposits in Dercum's disease. Obesity, 22(10), 2186-2192. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.20836