A form of disorder in which the metabolism (chemical transformation) of fat in the body is disrupted, leading to abnormalities in body fat distribution.
One type of lipodystrophy arises in those undergoing treatment with protease inhibitor drugs for HIV; it causes wasting of the limbs, face, and buttocks, but disproportionate fat deposits in the abdominal cavity, breasts, chest, back, and neck. Affected people also have elevated levels of lipids in the blood.
Another type, total lipodystrophy, is caused by an autosomal recessive genetic disorder. In this disorder, loss of fat across the entire body is associated with raised basal metabolic rate, hirsutism (excessive body hair), insulin resistant diabetes mellitus, and liver enlargement.