Body fat distribution and metabolic variables in patients with neonatal progeroid syndrome

Brendan O'Neill, Vinaya Simha, Vani Kotha, Abhimanyu Garg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Neonatal progeroid syndrome (NPS), also known as Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch Syndrome, is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by accelerated aging and lipodystrophy from birth. Affected children have extreme intrauterine growth retardation, poor postnatal weight gain, and characteristic facial dysmorphic features such as a triangular shape, pinched nose, pseudohydrocephalus with wide fontanelles and prominent subcutaneous (sc) veins. Generalized loss of sc fat has been reported as a cardinal feature; however, the pattern of fat loss and its association with insulin resistance and its metabolic complications have not been systematically studied. The aim of the current study was to examine body fat distribution and body composition in two girls with NPS using anthropometric measures, whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), and to assess metabolic complications such as hyperinsulinemia and dyslipidemia. Both the girls (aged 17 years and 10 years, respectively) had generalized paucity of sc fat on physical examination. However, measurements of skin-fold thickness revealed that sc fat was decreased over the extremities, but preserved over the chest and abdomen. MRI studies confirmed the presence of normal amounts of sc truncal fat, and marked loss of fat from the face and distal extremities. Striking fat loss was also noted in the paravertebral and lateral gluteal regions. Interestingly, body composition analysis with DEXA scan revealed a marked reduction in both the fat and lean tissue mass. Fasting glucose, lipids and insulin levels were not elevated. We conclude that patients with NPS do not have generalized lipodystrophy as previously reported, but fat loss is confined to the face, distal extremities, and possibly the paravertebral and lateral gluteal regions. Metabolic abnormalities related to insulin resistance are also uncommon in this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1430
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007


  • Adipose tissue
  • Body fat distribution
  • Lipodystrophy
  • Neonatal progeroid syndrome
  • Progeria
  • Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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