Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Unilateral leg swelling in a newborn
  1. Luisa Cortellazzo Wiel1,
  2. Irene Berti2,
  3. Meta Starc2,
  4. Flora Maria Murru2,
  5. Egidio Barbi1,2,
  6. Francesco Maria Risso2
  1. 1 University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
  2. 2 Institute for Maternal and Child Health, IRCCS “Burlo Garofolo”, Trieste, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Luisa Cortellazzo Wiel, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy; luisacortellazzowiel{at}


­A female neonate was born with asymmetric lower limbs, the right leg appearing enlarged, with thickened, reddish-purple skin and ectasic superficial reticulum (figure 1A,B). Limb pulses were present and symmetrical. The girl’s family history and prenatal scans were unremarkable. Laboratory findings were within the normal range, except for a mild thrombocytopenia (90 000/μL), which spontaneously resolved during the next few days. A leg X-ray and the Doppler analysis ruled out the presence of calcifications and venous varices, respectively. Ultrasound showed significant skin thickening, with marked dermal hypertrophy and hyperechogenicity. Magnetic resonance showed circumferential thickening of the derma, with mild hypertrophy of some perforating vessels (figure 2). A biopsy of the right thigh showed capillary malformations on histology.

Figure 1

(A, B) Hypertrophy of the right lower limb, with large capillary malformation extending to the gluteus and the external genitalia.

Figure 2

Axial THRIVE magnetic resonance scan of the thighs’ proximal third, showing circumferential dermal thickening and inhomogeneity of the right leg’s subcutaneous tissue.


  1. Based on the clinical picture and investigations results, which is the most likely diagnosis?

    1. Beckwith-Wiedemann

    2. CLOVES syndrome

    3. Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome

    4. Kaposiform hemangioendothelioma

  2. How can the diagnosis be confirmed?

    1. CT with PET

    2. Lymphoscintigraphy

    3. Genetic testing

    4. None of the above, the diagnosis is clinical

  3. What is the mainstay of management?

    1. Conservative with follow-up

    2. Pharmacotherapy

    3. Sclerotherapy

    4. Surgery

  4. Which of the following complications can occur?

    1. Scoliosis

    2. Glaucoma

    3. Urinary and gastrointestinal bleeding

    4. All of the above

Questions Answers can be found on page 02.

  • dermatology
  • genetics
  • growth
  • neonatology
  • syndrome

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors LCW and MS drafted the manuscript; FMM edited the radiological aspects of the case; IB and EB supervised the work; FMR edited the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.