Features of BSCL2 related congenital generalized lipodystrophy in China: long-term follow-up of three patients and literature review

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Nov 28;36(1):74-80. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2022-0372. Print 2023 Jan 27.


Objectives: Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL) is a group of rare autosomal inherited diseases characterized by a widespread loss of adipose tissue. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the features of Chinese patients with CGL2.

Methods: Three patients diagnosed with CGL2 from our center were reviewed. Data on clinical features, results of laboratory analyses, and previous treatments were retrospectively collected. This study also reviewed studies that reported patients diagnosed with CGL2 in the last 30 years.

Results: All patients presented a lack of subcutaneous fat, hypertriglyceridemia, reversed triangular faces, acanthosis nigricans, and hepatomegaly within the first six months of life. All three patients developed splenomegaly, and mental retardation in later life. Dietary control dramatically lowered triglyceride levels in all patients. One patient presented with diabetes mellitus at 1 year-old. Although combined therapy with low fat diet and metformin maintained normal levels of blood lipid and glucose, this patient developed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at the age of three. By a literature review on all Chinese cases with CGL2, it is known that classic manifestations such as hypertriglyceridemia, hepatomegaly and diabetes mellitus can occur shortly after birth, and early diagnosis and treatment can improve quality of life. In this cohort, the most frequent variations are c.782dupG and c.974dup in the BSCL2 gene. However, the same genotype may have different clinical phenotypes in patients with CGL2.

Conclusions: This study not only described the clinical and genetic features of three patients with CGL2 in China, but also reviewed literature about CGL2 around the world.

Keywords: BSCL2; diabetes mellitus; hepatomegaly; hypertriglyceridemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Follow-Up Studies
  • GTP-Binding Protein gamma Subunits* / genetics
  • Hepatomegaly / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia* / genetics
  • Lipodystrophy*
  • Lipodystrophy, Congenital Generalized* / diagnosis
  • Lipodystrophy, Congenital Generalized* / genetics
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies


  • GTP-Binding Protein gamma Subunits
  • BSCL2 protein, human