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10-31-2018 | Complications | Review | Article

Update on Therapeutic Options in Lipodystrophy

Current Diabetes Reports

Authors: Baris Akinci, Rasimcan Meral, Elif Arioglu Oral

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to summarize the therapeutic approach for lipodystrophy syndromes with conventional treatment options and metreleptin therapy in detail and to point out the current investigational treatments in development.

Recent Findings

The observation of leptin deficiency in patients with lipodystrophy and the potential of leptin replacement to rescue metabolic abnormalities in animal models of lipodystrophy were followed by the first clinical study of leptin therapy in patients with severe lipodystrophy. This and several other long-term studies demonstrated important benefits of recombinant human leptin (metreleptin) to treat metabolic abnormalities of lipodystrophy. These studies ultimately led to the recent FDA approval of metreleptin for the treatment of generalized lipodystrophy and EMA approval for both generalized and partial lipodystrophy. Additional research efforts in progress focus on novel treatment options, predominantly for patients with partial lipodystrophy.


Current treatment of generalized lipodystrophy includes metreleptin replacement as an adjunct to diet and standard treatment approach for metabolic consequences of lipodystrophy. Beyond metreleptin, a number of different compounds and treatment modalities are being studied for the treatment of partial lipodystrophy.

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