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Klippel-Trénaunay syndrome: spectrum and management

A G Jacob, D J Driscoll, W J Shaughnessy, A W Stanson, R P Clay, P Gloviczki
Mayo Clinic Proceedings 1998, 73 (1): 28-36

OBJECTIVE: To describe a series of 252 patients with Klippel-Trénaunay syndrome (KTS), a rare congenital malformation characterized by the triad of capillary malformations, atypical varicosities or venous malformations, and bony or soft tissue hypertrophy usually affecting one extremity.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We reviewed the clinical characteristics and findings in 136 female and 116 male patients with KTS who underwent assessment at Mayo Clinic Rochester between January 1956 and January 1995. In addition, management options are discussed.

RESULTS: Capillary malformations (port-wine stains) were found in 246 patients (98%), varicosities or venous malformations in 182 (72%), and limb hypertrophy in 170 (67%). All three features of KTS were present in 159 patients (63%), and 93 (37%) had two of the three features. Atypical veins, including lateral veins and persistent sciatic vein, occurred in 182 patients (72%). Operations performed in 145 patients with KTS included epiphysiodesis, stripping of varicose veins or venous malformations, excision of vascular malformations, amputations, and debulking procedures.

CONCLUSION: Most patients with KTS should be managed conservatively. The clearest indication for operation is a leg length discrepancy projected to exceed 2.0 cm at skeletal maturity, which can be treated with epiphysiodesis in the growing child. If a functioning deep vein system is present, removal of symptomatic varicosities or localized superficial venous malformations in selected patients can yield good results.

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