Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Madelung disease


Other Names for this Disease

  • Benign symmetrical lipomatosis
  • Familial symmetric lipomatosis
  • Launois-Bensaude syndrome
  • Madelung's disease
  • Multiple symmetric lipomatosis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

My dad has an extremely bad case of Madelung disease and refuses to get help for it. I just want to know if this disease can eventually kill you?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is the long-term outlook for people with Madelung disease?

The long-term outlook for people with Madelung disease depends on the size and location of the fatty tumors (lipomas) present in each person.[1] In most cases, the condition is considered benign.[2] However, the masses usually grow over time and tend to have a high rate of recurrence after removal.[2] In some people, the lipomas may grow so large that they compress surrounding tissues such as nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. This can reduce the size of the trachea (windpipe) which can lead to breathing problems and cause obstructive sleep apnea.[3]

In extremely rare cases, lipomas can become malignant (cancerous). Head and neck cancers have also been reported in some affected people; however, the association between Madelung disease and these cancers remains uncertain.[2]

Although we are unaware of any studies regarding the life expectancy of people with Madelung disease, the condition is reportedly associated with a 10% risk of sudden death by asphyxiation (lack of oxygen).[1]
Last updated: 11/20/2014

References
  • Madelung's Disease. Fat Disorders Research Society. 2013; http://www.fatdisorders.org/what-are-fat-disorders/madelungs-disease/. Accessed 6/28/2013.
  • Sia KJ, Tang IP, Tan TY. Multiple symmetrical lipomatosis: case report and literature review. J Laryngol Otol. July 2012; 126(7):756-758.
  • Mimica M, Pravdic D, Nakas-Icindic E, Karin M, Babic E, Tomic M, Bevanda M. Multiple symmetric lipomatosis: a diagnostic dilemma. Case Rep Med. 2013; 2013:1-4. Accessed 11/19/2014.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Benign symmetrical lipomatosis
  • Familial symmetric lipomatosis
  • Launois-Bensaude syndrome
  • Madelung's disease
  • Multiple symmetric lipomatosis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.