Congenital Generalized Lipodystrophy

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Skip to the navigation

It is possible that the main title of the report Congenital Generalized Lipodystrophy is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL), also known as Berardinelli-Seip syndrome, is a rare genetic disorder characterized by the near total loss of body fat (adipose tissue) and extreme muscularity that is often present at birth or soon thereafter. CGL is associated with metabolic complications related to insulin resistance such as an inability to break down (metabolize) glucose (glucose intolerance), elevated levels of triglycerides (fat) in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia), and diabetes. Diabetes associated with CGL is often very difficult to treat. Additional complications such as those affecting the liver and heart can also occur. The symptoms and severity of CGL can vary greatly from one person to another. There are four different subtypes of CGL each caused by mutations in different gene. All of the known types of CGL are inherited as autosomal recessive conditions.

Lipodystrophy is a general term for a group of disorders that are characterized by complete (generalized) or partial loss of adipose tissue. In addition to CGL, there are other inherited forms of lipodystrophy. Some forms of lipodystrophy are not inherited, but acquired at some point during life (acquired lipodystrophy). The degree of severity and the specific areas of the body affected can vary among the lipodystrophies. The loss of adipose tissue that characterizes these disorders is sometimes referred to as lipoatrophy rather than lipodystrophy by some physicians. CGL was first described in the medical literature by Dr. Berardinelli in 1954 and reviewed by Dr. Seip in 1959.

Supporting Organizations

American Diabetes Association

1701 N. Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
Tel: (703)549-1500
Fax: (703)549-6995
Tel: (800)342-2383

CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)

Climb Building
176 Nantwich Road
Crewe, CW2 6BG
United Kingdom
Tel: 4408452412173
Fax: 4408452412174

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

Lipodystrophy United

22 Frances Road,
Los Lunas, NM 87031
Tel: 209-845-7213

March of Dimes

1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Email: or
Website: and

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Office of Communications & Public Liaison
Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
Tel: (301)496-3583

The Arc

1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)534-3700
Fax: (202)534-3731
Tel: (800)433-5255

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  4/28/2015
Copyright  2015 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.