Impairment of respiratory muscle strength in Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipodystrophy subjects

Respir Res. 2018 Sep 12;19(1):173. doi: 10.1186/s12931-018-0879-8.


Background: Berardinelli-Seip Congenital Generalized Lipodystrophy (BSCL) is an ultra-rare metabolic disease characterized by hypertriglyceridemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, hypoleptinemia, and diabetes mellitus. Although cardiovascular disturbances have been observed in BSCL patients, there are no studies regarding the Respiratory Muscle Strength (RMS) in this type of lipodystrophy. This study aimed to evaluate RMS in BSCL subjects compared with healthy subjects.

Methods: Eleven individuals with BSCL and 11 healthy subjects matched for age and gender were included in this study. The Maximum Inspiratory Pressure (MIP), Maximum Expiratory Pressure (MEP), and Peripheral Muscle Strength (PMS) were measured for three consecutive years. BSCL subjects were compared to healthy individuals for MIP, MEP, and PMS. Correlations between PMS and MIP were also analyzed. The genetic diagnosis was performed, and sociodemographic and anthropometric data were also collected.

Results: BSCL subjects showed significantly lower values for MIP and MEP (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.0002, respectively) in comparison to healthy subjects, but no changes in handgrip strength (p = 0.15). Additionally, we did not observe changes in MIP, MEP, and PMS two years after the first analysis, showing maintenance of respiratory dysfunction in BSCL subjects (p = 0.05; p = 0.45; p = 0.99). PMS and MIP were not correlated in these subjects (r = 0.56; p = 0.18).

Conclusion: BSCL subjects showed lower respiratory muscle strength when compared with healthy subjects; however, PMS was not altered. These findings were maintained at similar levels during the two years of evaluation. Our data reveal the first association of BSCL with the development of respiratory muscle weakness.

Keywords: Lipodystrophy; MEP; MIP; Metreleptin; PMS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leptin / analogs & derivatives
  • Leptin / pharmacology
  • Leptin / therapeutic use
  • Lipodystrophy, Congenital Generalized / diagnosis*
  • Lipodystrophy, Congenital Generalized / drug therapy
  • Lipodystrophy, Congenital Generalized / physiopathology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Maximal Respiratory Pressures / methods
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Respiratory Muscles / drug effects
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult


  • Leptin
  • metreleptin