Hormonal and metabolic study of a case of adiposis dolorosa (Dercum's disease).
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A case of a 43-year-old nonobese woman with adiposis dolorosa (Dercum's disease) is reported. Muscle glucose uptake and oxidation before and after ingestion of 75 g of glucose were similar to control group values, although a greater insulin release (16,578 vs 6,242 +/- 1,136 microU/3 h) occurred simultaneously. In vitro studies of abdominal normal and painful subcutaneous adipose tissue of the patient revealed lower responsiveness to norepinephrine and lack of response to the antilipolytic effect of insulin in the painful adipose tissue (0.98 vs 1.43 microM FFA/10(6) cells at 5.0 microM of norepinephrine). The disease was not correlated with the HLA system and there were no alterations in hormonal secretion at the pituitary, adrenal, gonadal, and thyroid levels. These findings indicate the presence of peripheral insulin resistance in this patient with adiposis dolorosa.
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