What is Parkes-Weber Syndrome?

Parkes Weber syndrome (PWS) is a rare congenital (present at birth) vascular malformation that typically effects an extremity. They may initially appear similar to Klippel Trenaunay syndrome (KTS). However, the composition of PWS includes arteriovenous malformations (AVM) in addition to abnormal capillary, vein, and lymphatic channels.

Overgrowth can occur similar to KTS; however, PWS is considered a much more difficult problem to treat. The AVM component confers additional risks and symptoms that require close monitoring. Hormonal influences and trauma to the involved area from injuries or surgery can cause a period of expansion or growth, accompanied by pain and limitation of function in the involved extremity.

Heart failure can occur in severe cases.

Possible complications of PWS include:

  • Ulceration or skin breakdown
  • Severe pulsatile bleeding from friable skin surfaces
  • Swelling and pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Cardiac failure from overworking the heart
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