Lipoedema Research

While Lipoedema is often confused with lymphedema, frequently unrecognized and often under-diagnosed, it is a condition that is significantly different from lymphedema. Lipoedema involves pathological changes in cellular function of adipose (fat) cells leading to fatty tissue edema, thickened collagen fibers, venous stasis, and lymphostasis and often pain in the edemic region. A significant difference between lipoedema and general fat storage is that regardless of an individual’s weight loss effort there will be no change in the volume of the lipoedemic region, even with minimal food intake.

The following recent research studies and articles provide scientific direction on both the diagnosis and treatment of lipoedema.


Linda Anne Kahn, CLT-LANA, CDT, CMT, CN: Lipedema and Nutrition. Lymphatic Therapy Services, SanDiego, CA (2012)

International Society of Lymphology. Consensus Statement. Lymphology (2009)

Langendoen, SI, L Habbema, TE Nijsten, et al: Lipodema: From clinical presentation to therapy. A review of the literature. Br. J. Dermatol. 161 (2009), 980-986

Szolnoky, G, N Nagy, RK Rokacs, et al:
Complex decongestive phsysiotherapy reduces capillary fragility in lipedema. Lymphology 21 (2008), 161-166

Szolnoky, G, B Borsos, K Barsony, et al:
Complete decongestive physiotherapy with and without pneumatic compression for treatment of lipedema: A pilot study. Lymphology 41 (2008), 40-44

Vignes, S: Lipodema. Ann. Dermatol. Venerol. 133 (2006), 91-93

Foldi, M, S Kubik (Eds.): Textbook of Lymphology. Urban and Fischer Publisher, 2005

Amann-Vesti, BR, UK Franzeck, A Bollinger: Microlymphatic aneurysms in patients with lipoedema. Lymphology 34 (2001): 170-175.

Harwood, CA, RH Bull, J Evans, et al: Lymphatic and venous function in lipoedema. Br. J. Dermatol. 134 (1996), 1-6

Rudkin, GH, TA Miller: Lipedema: A clinical entity distinct from lymphedema.  Plast Reconstr Surg 94 (1994), 841-847.

Kuhnke, E, J Asdonk: Lymph drainage and edema therapy using physical drainage treatment. Z Lymphology 4 (1980), 67-75

Greer, KE: Lipedema of the legs. Cutis 14 (1974), 98-100

Allen, EV, EA Hines: Lipedema of the legs: A syndrome characterized by fat legs and orthostatic edema. Mayo Clin. Proc. 15 (1940), 184-187