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Variation in neuroimaging and outcomes in patients with Sturge Weber syndrome Type III.

OBJECTIVES: Sturge Weber syndrome (SWS) is a neurovascular condition with an estimated incidence of 1 in 20,000 to 50,000 live births. SWS Types I and II involve cutaneous and ophthalmological findings, with neurological involvement in Type I. SWS Type III is exclusive to brain stigmata. Our study aims to describe the characteristics of brain MRI findings and report neuroradiological features with seizure and cognitive outcomes in patients with SWS Type III.

METHODS: This is a retrospective case series examining the clinical, radiological, and cognitive characteristics of patients with SWS Type III referred to the SWS Clinic at Boston Children's Hospital. We analyzed brain MRI findings based on vascular and parenchymal features. Clinical and cognitive outcomes were based on a validated assessment tool in this population (Neuroscore).

RESULTS: This dedicated case series of patients with Type III SWS from a single center identified ten patients. All patients had classic stigmata indicative of SWS. Two distinct radiological phenotypes were found, one characterized by more pronounced deep venous enlargement, and the other, with more pronounced parenchymal abnormalities. There was heterogeneity in seizure presentation and outcome. Earlier age of onset and seizures predict more severe outcomes, as seen in classic SWS.

CONCLUSION: We could not find significant divergence in outcomes between patients with differing neuroimaging phenotypes. These results raise the question of whether the two distinct radiological phenotypes found in SWS Type III are reflective of different disease entities, with underlying genetic heterogeneity. These results suggest the need for larger, multi-center natural history studies.

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