Our Research Impact

Research funded by Lipedema Foundation is already being published and presented. Although sample sizes remain small for now, the results of these early studies help to inform future priorities and research impact.

Progress Toward Diagnostic tests

Tissue Sodium Content is Elevated in the Skin and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue in Women with Lipedema.


Enrolling studies & ClinicaL Trials

Research during FDRS 2018 conference - (closed)

Vanderbilt Survey and Na-MRI exam

INSIGHT at The University of Arizona

Quadrivas I - (closed)



INSIGHT at The University of Arizona



Lipedema: Friend and Foe

"In new data collected, lipedema was associated with a low risk of diabetes (2%), dyslipidemia (11.7%) and hypertension (13%) despite an obese average body mass index (BMI) of 35.3 ± 1.7 kg/m2."

Tissue Sodium Content is Elevated in the Skin and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue in Women with Lipedema.

"CONCLUSIONS: Internal metrics of tissue sodium and adipose content are elevated in patients with lipedema, potentially providing objective imaging-based biomarkers for differentially diagnosing the under-recognized condition of lipedema from obesity."

Differentiating lipedema and Dercum's disease

"CONCLUSIONS: The significantly lower prevalence of DM2 in people with lipedema compared with DD may be due to the greater amount of gynoid fat known to be protective against metabolic disorders. The high percentage of hypermobility in lipedema patients indicates that it may be a comorbid condition. The location of fat, high average daily pain, presence of lipomas and comorbid painful disorders in DD patients may help differentiate from lipedema."

Pilot study: whole body manual subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) therapy improved pain and SAT structure in women with lipedema.

Low dose d-amphetamine induced regression of liver fat deposits in Dercum disease


Conferences and Presentations

 Lipedema Sandbox - GRC Lymphatics 2018

Lipedema Sandbox - GRC Lymphatics 2018

Erik Lontok

The Lipedema Sandbox; Gordon Research Lymphatics Conference Poster - March 2018

Karen Herbst and the University of Arizona Team

Fat Disorders Research Society #FDRS2018 - April 2018

Obesity Medicine Association Meeting Lipedema Diagnosis and Treatment – September 2017

Asia Pacific Lymphology Conference: New Networks New Solutions, May 2016

  • Lipedema, Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment – 3 hour workshop
  • SAT Disorders Similarities and Differences
  • Lipedema Is Not Just Fat Legs
  • Lymphatic Dysfunction in Obesity and Diabetes
  • All About Lipedema and Treatment

Fat Disorders Research Society #FDRS2017 – April 2017

  • Keynote Address: Dercum’s disease vs. Lipedema
  • Quadrivas Therapy
  • Dercum's Disease Research

Vanderbilt team

Lymphatic imaging in patients with lipedema and lymphedema: potential applications to CNS lymphatics; Johns Hopkins University - February 2018 (Manus Donahue)

Lymphatic vessel visualization using a novel, non-invasive MR lymphangiography technique; Association of Academic Physiatrists -February 2018 (Paula Donahue)

Lymphedema and lipedema in women: insights into lymphatic disease; Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science - January 2018 (Rachelle Crescenzi)

A novel application of quantitative sodium MRI for distinguishing lipedema from obesity; Vanderbilt Univ. Institute of Imaging Science Annual retreat – June 2017 (Rachelle Crescenzi)

Lymphedema and Lipedema in Women: Emerging Mechanistic Insights; Society for Vascular Medicine 28th Annual Scientific Sessions – June 2017 (Rachelle Crescenzi)

A novel application of quantitative sodium MRI for distinguishing lipedema from obesity; X-Nuclei Imaging Study Group of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) 25th annual meeting - April 2017 (Rachelle Crescenzi)

Magnetic resonance imaging reveals high tissue sodium and fat in women with lipedema; Fat Disorders Research Society - April 2017 (Rachelle Crescenzi)

Functional Imaging of Sodium and Lymphatics in Patients with Lipedema; Lipedema Scientific Retreat - October 2016 (Rachelle Crescenzi)

St George's University of London Team

Lipedema: a genetic condition?; Klose Lymphedema Conference Denver – May 2017 (Kristiana Gordon)

Exploring different oedemas; Living with Lymphoedema Conference London, Royal Marsden Hospital – September 2017 (Kristiana Gordon)

Lipedema: An Inherited Condition; Lipoedema UK Conference – October 2017 (Pia Ostergaard and Prof. Peter Mortimer)

Carrie Shawber

Notch4mutant Mice Develop a Lipedema Like Syndrome Associated with Dermal Lymphatic Defects; Lymphatics Gordon Research Conference – March 2018

Echoe Bouta

Comparison of lymphatic function techniques; Lymphatic Forum Chicago – June 2016

Javier Jaldin-Fincati

Communication between adipose and lymphatic microvascular endothelial cells; World Congress of Lymphology – September 2017


Related Resources