- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Brodie's syndrome II

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Lipomatosis characterized by generalized symmetrical deposits of fatty tissue, lipomata, in the area of neck, shoulder girdle, upper arm, forearm, and the upper part of the trunk, causing a pseudoathletic habitus. The Madelung syndrome, or Madelung fatty neck, is a cervico-nuchal variant with multiple, diffuse, symmetrical lipomata of the neck. The condition is sometimes spreading toward the scrotal region and causing vascular compression and tracheal and bronchial obstruction. The disorder may occur as a complication of excessive alcohol consumption. The patient usually first notices the disease in that he cannot button the collar of his shirt and discovers large diffuse tumefaction in the posterior part of the neck. Both sexes affected, but more common i males. Onset between 35 to 40 years of age. The condition is associated with a high degree of morbitity and about a 10% risk of sudden death by asphyxiation. Etiology unknown. Autosomal dominant inheritance observed.

We thank Jennifer Mandell for information submitted.


  • B. C. Brodie:
    Clinical Lectures on Surgery. Delivered at St. George’s Hospital.
    Philadelphia, Lea & Blanchard, 1846: 201-210.
  • O. W. Madelung:
    Über den Fetthals (diffuses Lipom des Halses).
    [von Langenbeck’s] Archiv für klinische Chirurgie, Berlin, 1888, 37: 106-130.
  • P. E. Launois, R. Bensaude:
    De l’adénolipomatose symétrique.
    Bull Soc Méd Hôp Paris, Mémoires, 1898, 1: 298-318.
  • A. Buschke, W. Casper:
    Die traumatische Ätiologie und die Begutachtung der symmetrischen Lipomatose.
    Klinische Wochenschrift, Berlin, 1929, 8: 880-883.

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