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Sturge-Weber Syndrome

Sturge-Weber Syndrome

Sturge-Weber syndrome is a disorder in which an abnormal growth of blood vessels occurs in certain parts of the body. The abnormal vessel growth may affect the skin on the face; the brain; or one or both eyes.

When the skin on the face is affected, a large birthmark called a port-wine stain may result. When Sturge-Weber syndrome affects the brain, seizures may develop during infancy that can interfere with normal development. Abnormal growth of blood vessels in one or both eyes often leads to increased pressure inside the eye and glaucoma.

Treatment with antiepileptic drugs can sometimes reduce seizures. For some children with the condition, a type of brain surgery called hemispherectomy may also help control seizures.

Last Revised: March 21, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology

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