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A middle-aged man with increasing body fat



A 51-year-old man was referred for evaluation of gradual increase in body fat over bilateral arms, chest and abdomen for 6 months. He was a non-smoker and he drank at least four bottles of beer daily since the age of 18. There was no significant past medical history or any family history of obesity or endocrine diseases. Physical examination showed localized large bulk of fat over the neck, both arms and mammary regions, abdomen, and back (Figs 1 and 2). The lower limbs and buttock were relatively spared. There was telangiectasia over the face and chest wall, but no palmar erythema nor finger clubbing. The liver span was normal, and the spleen tip was palpated 2 cm below the costal margin. Examination of the cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological system was normal.

Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Localized large bulk of fat over both arms, mammary regions and abdomen.

Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Localized large bulk of fat over mammary regions and abdomen.

Blood tests showed thrombocytopenia (platelet 140 × 109 L−1 [normal: 170–380 × 109 L−1]) and liver function derangement (bilirubin 27 μmol L−1, ALP 298 U L−1, ALT 127 U L−1, AST 165 U L−1, GGT 1353 U L−1, albumin 33 g L−1 and globulin 42 g L−1). His clotting profile and renal functions were normal. His hepatitis B surface antigen was positive, but his HBV DNA was <60 copies per mL. Fasting glucose was 5.0 mmol L−1. HbA1c was 5.6%. His lipid profile was satisfactory with total cholesterol of 2.9 mmol L−1, triglycerides 1.0 mmol L−1, HDL-C 1.37 mmol L−1 and LDL-C 1.1 mmol L−1. Ultrasound of the abdomen showed normal-sized liver with coarsened liver parenchymal echogenicity. The spleen was enlarged to 14 cm.

This middle-aged man suffered from multiple symmetric lipomatosis and alcoholic liver disease. Dual-energy X-ray showed 1746 gm (40.1%), 1498 gm (32.8%) and 8322 gm (26.8%) fat over the left arm, right arm and trunk, respectively. The legs were unaffected with 1703 gm (19.4%) and 1627 gm (17.7%) fat over the left and right sides, respectively. The patient was advised to stop drinking and he declined surgical treatment.