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Disease Profile

Lipidosis with triglycerid storage disease

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

<1 / 1 000 000

US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset






Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable



The following summary is from Orphanet, a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.

Orpha Number: 165

Neutral lipid storage disease (NLSD) refers to a group of diseases characterized by a deficit in the degradation of cytoplasmic triglycerides and their accumulation in cytoplasmic lipid vacuoles in most tissues of the body. The group is heterogeneous: currently cases of NLSD with icthyosis (NLSDI/Dorfman-Chanarin disease; see this term) and NLSD with myopathy (NLSDM/neutral lipid storage myopathy; see this term) can be distinguished.

The group of diseases is very rare and the prevalence is unknown (around 50 cases have been reported in medical literature, of which 3 had NLSDM) because of the vagueness of the descriptions.

Clinical description
In NLSDI, generalized ichthyosis occurs in 95% of cases, moderate myopathic syndrome (or abnormal serum muscle enzyme levels), intellectual deficit and moderate hepatomegaly (or functional impairment of the liver) occur in 60% of cases, ocular (cataract, retinopathy) and hearing abnormalities (deafness) occur in 40% of cases, and neuropathy and short stature occur in 20% of cases.

NLSDI/Dorfman-Chanarin disease is caused by mutations in the ABHD5 gene (3p21), NLSDM by mutations in the PNPLA2/ATGL gene (localized to 11p15.5).

Diagnostic methods
Biological diagnosis is based on evidence of leukocytes in the vacuoles of neutral lipids and a deficiency in the degradation of cytoplasmic triglycerides in cultured cells (lymphoblasts or fibroblasts), while mitochondrial function (in particular the transport and b-oxidation of fatty acids) is normal. Genetic diagnosis is also possible.

Differential diagnosis
Differential diagnoses include mitochondrial diseases with accumulation of cytoplasmic triglycerides (deficiencies in carnitine, cartinine palmitoly transferase or fatty acid oxidation enzymes; see these terms).

Antenatal diagnosis
Prenatal diagnosis is possible by genetic testing (for mutations in chorionic or amniotic cells) when parental mutations have been identified.

Genetic counseling
Transmission of the disorder is autosomal recessive.

Management and treatment
There is no treatment to correct the metabolic deficiency.

For NLSDI/Dorfman-Chanarin disease, the severity of the disease is linked to the myopathy and any associated disorders (which may include ocular and cerebral involvement). The evolution of the disease varies between patients, but is relatively slow because some patients reach late adulthood.

Visit the Orphanet disease page for more resources.

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

In-Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.