October 1955


Author Affiliations

Newington, Conn.

From the Medical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital; Chief, Medical Service (Dr. Lipton).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;96(4):560-564. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250150134014

XANTHOMA diabeticorum is a rare complication of diabetes mellitus which dramatically calls attention to the derangement of fat metabolism which occurs in diabetes and to the effectiveness of diabetic control in correcting this defect.

Xanthoma diabeticorum was first described by Addison and Gull, in 1851.1 In the preinsulin era this condition was commoner than it is today. Related publications in recent years have been few, and xanthoma diabeticorum is considered to be a rare complication. Only 14 of Joslin's * 21,000 cases of diabetes mellitus had this complication. In Thannhauser's classification of the xanthomatoses,† it falls into the group of secondary xanthomatoses due to hyperlipemia. In contrast to the primary essential xanthomatoses, which are constitutional disorders of the intracellular metabolism of reticuloendothelial cells, the secondary types are manifestations of hyperlipemic states. With correction of the increased blood lipids, reabsorption of the deposited lipids occurs and the eruptive lesions disappear.


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