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Lipedema Research at Vanderbilt

Lipedema lab with FDRS leader

The Vanderbilt Lipedema Research team is a multidisciplinary effort to research an understudied disease called lipedema. We have an active research study in partnership with the Lipedema Foundation to measure the accumulation of sodium in the skin and adipose tissue of women with lipedema. This study addresses the clinical need for a diagnostic test to distinguish lipedema from other fat disorders and lymphedema. More information about our approach and the goals of developing molecular MRI methods for lipedema can be found in an interview with the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN). We are also exploring the use of biophysical instruments to assess tissue salt storage, and conducted a pilot study at the 2017 Fat Disorders Research Society (FDRS) conference.

For patients who would like to participate in our study, please contact Helen Mahany at

For research scientists and physicians who are interested in collaborating with the lipedema imaging study, please contact

Click here to fill out our lipedema symptoms survey.

lipedema results

Shelly giving e-poster
Surface coil
action shot
ginamarie's visit