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NORD is very grateful to John B. Mulliken, MD, Co-Director, Vascular Anomalies Center; Director, Craniofacial Center, Boston Children's Hospital, for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Synonyms of Klippel-Trénaunay Syndrome
- No subdivisions found.
Klippel-Trénaunay syndrome (KTS) is a rare disorder that is present at birth (congenital) and is characterized by a triad of cutaneous capillary malformation ("port-wine stain"), lymphatic anomalies, and abnormal veins in association with variable overgrowth of soft tissue and bone. KTS occurs most frequently in the lower limb and less commonly in the upper extremity and trunk. KTS equally affects males and females.
The eponym KTS has generated controversy in the medical literature since the first report of the condition in the early 20th century. The French physicians, Klippel and Trénaunay, described patients with capillary stains (improperly called "hemangiomas" at that time), venous varicosities, and overgrowth. At about the same time, the English dermatologist Parkes Weber reported the combination of "hemangiomas" and overgrowth of a limb. For many years, the names of all three physicians were linked as a confusing (and incorrect) term "Klippel-Weber-Trénaunay syndrome," which still is (unfortunately) used to this day.
Since the latter 20th century, it is well-recognized that Parkes Weber and Klippel-Trénaunay syndromes are entirely different. Parkes Weber syndrome consists of fast-flow, multiple microscopic arteriovenous connections with variable capillary staining of an enlarged limb (usually the lower extremity). By genetic testing, many of these patients have a dominant, germline mutation in the gene RASA1.
In contrast, KTS is a slow-flow combined vascular disorder involving abnormal capillaries (C), lymphatics (L) and veins (V). Therefore, many investigators use the abbreviation CLVM, rather than KTS, and restrict the designation for patients who have all three vascular anomalies. Other authors apply the KTS term more broadly and include patients with only capillary stain (CM) or only capillary and venous anomalies (CVM) in the limb in the absence of lymphatic abnormalities.
Once the genetic cause for KTS is discovered, it will be possible to more precisely designate patients with these various combinations of vascular anomalies.
Klippel-Trénaunay Syndrome Resources
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