The lymphatic system that protects against infection and disease can be abnormal. An extra number of lymphatic vessels can be present that might not work properly. This can lead to swelling or leakage.
Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome can also lead to cataracts, glaucoma, hip dislocation at birth, and blood clotting problems.
Port Wine Stain Treatment
Since this birthmark does not fade away gradually, treatments have been sought to remove port wine stains. One hundred two patients aged one month to 66 years were given flashlamp-pumped dye laser treatment for their port wine stains from 1989 to 1994.
Out of those treated, 15.3% saw more than 90% of their lesions lightening while 65.3% had lightening from 50% to 90%. Poor response from 11% to 49% was registered by 17.8% of the subjects. Only 1.7% had less than 10% or no response.
While this response yielded positive results, the researchers noted that the port wine stain recurred at a rate approaching 50% between three to four years after treatment was completed.
Port wine stains are different from other birthmarks as they involve abnormal development of blood vessels.
Known as Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome when it appears everywhere but on the face, symptoms aside from port wine stains include an overgrowth of bones and soft tissue, vein malformations, and a possibly abnormal lymphatic system.
Sturge-Weber syndrome is what it is called when this associated birthmark appears on the face. This syndrome is also characterized by eye abnormalities like glaucoma and caused by somatic mosaic mutations disrupting vascular development.
Flashlamp-pumped dye laser treatment has proven effective in treating port wine stain. Unfortunately, research shows that it can recur between three to four years after treatment.
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