The clinical presentations of Lipoatrophia semicircularis (LS) vary, and diagnostic criteria are unclear. Several etiopathogenic factors, including occupational environmental ones, have been suggested. We aimed to describe a cluster of cases of suspected LS that started to appear in May 2008 among employees of the city council of Madrid, Spain. We report the actions taken by the council’s Occupational Health Service and propose clinical categories with prognostic implications.
Material and method
Retrospective observational case series study including prospectively collected data from patients evaluated between 2008 and 2021 at the Madrid City Council STI/Dermatology Department. Information on measures taken by the Occupational Health Service is detailed. The recording of clinical variables for statistical analysis and the proposal of defined clinical patterns were carried out.
We studied the cases of 75 women and one man, most of whom attended follow-up visits for a median of 37 months. Local symptoms were observed in just 14.5% of patients. The cases were classified into 4 groups: typical LS, unilateral LS, band-like lipoatrophy in the lower limbs, and nonspecific LS. Clinical outcomes were more often favorable in the first 2 groups, in which 76% of patients achieved total or partial improvement of lesions (vs. 25.8% in the last 2 groups). LS was negatively associated with the presence of hypertrophic subcutaneous adipose tissue (P < .001).
Typical LS, which can often be unilateral, generally has a satisfactory outcome. The clinical characteristics of this form distinguish it from other types of lipoatrophy. Measures taken by the Occupational Health Service contributed to favorable outcomes. In this series, LS was not associated with marked subcutaneous adipose tissue hypertrophy in the thighs. Our proposed categories may help distinguish between cases of LS with a favorable prognosis and other cases presenting with skin surface depressions, which are often persistent.