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Sturge-Weber syndrome - legs
Sturge-Weber syndrome - legs

Sturge-Weber syndrome - soles of feet
Sturge-Weber syndrome - soles of feet

Circulatory system
Circulatory system


Sturge-Weber syndrome is a rare disorder present at birth in which the child has a port-wine stain birthmark (usually on the face) and neurologic problems.

Alternative Names:

Encephalotrigeminal angiomatosis

Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

The cause of Sturge-Weber is unknown. There is no known hereditary component.

  • Port-wine stain (more common on the face than the body)
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis or weakness on one side
  • Glaucoma
  • Learning disabilities

Signs and tests:

X-rays, MRI, or CT scans are useful to look for associated problems.


Treatment is based on the patient's signs and symptoms, and may include:

  • Anticonvulsant medicines for seizures
  • Eye drops or surgery to treat glaucoma
  • Laser therapy for port-wine stains
  • Physical therapy for paralysis or weakness
  • Possible brain surgery to prevent seizures

Support Groups:

For information and support, see .

Expectations (prognosis):

Most cases of Sturge-Weber are not life-threatening. The quality of life depends on how well the symptoms, such as seizures, can be prevented or treated.

  • Abnormal blood vessel growth in the skull
  • Continued growth of the port-wine stain
  • Developmental delays
  • Emotional and behavioral problems
  • Glaucoma, which may lead to blindness
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures

Calling your health care provider:

All birthmarks, including a port-wine stain, should be evaluated by the health care provider. Seizures, visual problems, paralysis, and change in alertness or mental state may mean the coverings of the brain are involved. These symptoms should be evaluated promptly.


There is no known prevention.

Review Date: 10/23/2007
Reviewed By: Daniel Rauch, MD, FAAP, Director, Pediatric Hospitalist Program, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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