Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (KTS) is a rare congenital malformation involving blood and lymph vessels and abnormal growth of soft and bone tissue. Typical symptoms include hemangiomas (abnormal benign growths on the skin consisting of masses of blood vessels) and varicose veins. Fused toes or fingers, or extra toes or fingers, may be present. In some cases, internal bleeding may occur as a result of blood vessel malformations involving organs such as the stomach, rectum, vagina, liver, spleen, bladder, kidneys, lungs, or heart. Individuals are also at risk for blood clots. The cause of the disorder is unknown. A similar port-wine stain disorder in which individuals have vascular anomalies on the face as well as in the brain is Sturge-Weber syndrome. These individuals may experience seizures and mental deficiency. In some cases, features of the Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome and Sturge-Weber syndrome coincide. Another overlapping condition is the Parkes-Weber syndrome, which is characterized by abnormal connectivity between the arterial and venous system (arteriovenous fistulas).
There is no cure for KTS. Treatment is symptomatic. Laser surgery can diminish or erase some skin lesions. Surgery may correct discrepancies in limb size, but orthopedic devices may be more appropriate.
KTS is often a progressive disorder, and complications may be life-threatening. However, many individuals can live well while managing their symptoms.
The NINDS supports research on congenital disorders such as KTS with the goal of finding new means to treat and prevent them.
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation
P.O. Box 106
Latham, NY 12110
Tel: 877-VBF-4646 (823-4646)
P.O. Box 418
Mt. Freedom, NJ 07970
Tel: 973-895-4445 800-627-5482
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
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Last Modified September 30, 2011