Lipoatrophia semicircularis (1999-2005)


Milieu toxicologie
Mol, België

Activity report


L. Verschaeve, A. Maes & R. Anthonissen

Effects found in white blood cells from persons afflicted with Lipoatrophia semicircularis (semicircular impressions of the skin of the thighs, due to the disappearance [atrophy] of subcutaneous fatty tissue) are in line with our hypothesis of an “electromagnetic origin” of this condition (see 1999-2000 report).

See further information on Lipoatrophia semicircularis.


L. Verschaeve, A. Maes & R. Anthonissen

We performed some work to elucidate the causes of Lipoatrophia semicircularis. Although originally planned and performed outside the scope of the agreement, we would like to report on this topic as it may be of interest to BBEMG members.

Lipoatrophia semicircularis consists of an idiopathic condition seen mainly, but not exclusively, in women. It is characterized by one or several semicircular, band-like, atrophic lesions involving the subcutaneous tissue of the anterolateral parts of the thighs. Up to now the scientific literature has reported only a few isolated cases. But recently, hundreds of cases have been identified, especially among administrative personnel from different companies in Belgium. Since then, many other cases have been identified in Belgium, but also in the Netherlands and elsewhere. The origin of this perhaps new professional “disease” is at present unknown. We started research work on the causes of this condition and found clear evidence that Lipoatrophia semicircularis finds its origin in the electromagnetic environment of work places and especially in galvanic or capacitive coupling between charged materials (desktops) and the body. This hypothesis will now be verified through laboratory investigations.

See further information on Lipoatrophia semicircularis.


Verschaeve L., & Maes A. (2009)
Support for the hypothesis that electro-stimulation is responsible for Lipoatrophia semicircularisMed. Hypotheses, 73, 802-806.

Verschaeve L., & Maes A. (2009)
In vitro investigations related to the ‘electromagnetic hypothesis’ of Lipoatrophia semicircularisJ. Appl. Toxicol ., 29, 478-482.

Curvers, B., & Maes, A. (2004).
Lipoatrophia semicircularis: a new office disease? 900 cases reported in Belgium . Arbeidsgezondheidszorg & Ergonomie . Band XLI. N°2-2004. Médecine du Travail & Ergonomie. Volume XLI. N°2-2004.

Maes A., Curvers B., & Verschaeve L. (2003)
Lipoatrophia semicircularis: the electromagnetic hypothesis. Electromagnet. Biol. Med. 22, 183-193.

Maes, A. (2002).
La lipoatrophie semicirculaire, une nouvelle maladie professionnelle. La sécurité au travail , 4, 21 février 2002, Editions Kluwer.

Maes, A . (2002).
Elektromagnetische straling, mogelijke gezondheidseffecten met speciale aan dacht voor een nieuw beroepsgebonden fenomeen : Lipoatrophia semicircularis. Nieuwsbrief van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Arbeidshygiëne (NVvA), n°3, september 2002, p 9-10.

Maes, A. (2001)
Ribbeldijen (Lipoatrophia semicircularis), een nieuwe beroepsgebonden aan doening. Nieuwsbrief Arbeidsveiligheid Kluwer , jaargang 20, n° 21, p 2-4.

Maes, A. (2000).
Les cuisses striées à l’étude. Travail & Bien-être 4, 28-33.

Maes, A. (2000).
Ribbeldijen onderzocht. Werk & Welzijn 4, 28-33.