Hypertrophy Common in Older Patients With Port-Wine Stains

Median age of onset 31 years; 71 percent of patients older than 50 years have hypertrophy

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hypertrophy is present in the majority of patients with port-wine stains (PWS) who are over the age of 50 years, according to a study published online July 2 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Anne Margreet van Drooge, M.D., from the University of Amsterdam, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed medical records and clinical photographs of all patients with PWS visiting a clinic between 2005 and 2009. Three hundred thirty-five participants (age range, 0 to 81 years; 69 percent female) responded to a questionnaire regarding hypertrophic PWS.

The researchers identified hypertrophy in 20 percent of PWS patients, which was classified as thickened (5 percent), nodular (8 percent), or both (7 percent). The color of hypertrophic PWS was mainly red or purple (50 and 44 percent, respectively). Sixty-eight percent of patients with hypertrophy in their PWS were older than 40 and only 7 percent were younger than 20 years. Of the patients older than 50 years, 71 percent had hypertrophy in their PWS. The median age of hypertrophy onset was 31 years -- 12 years for thickened hypertrophy and 39 years for nodular hypertrophy.

"This study shows that hypertrophy is a common development in PWS, affecting 20 percent of all patients with PWS and 71 percent of patients older than 50 years," the authors write. "Patients should be informed about the natural course of PWS and more attention needs to be drawn to therapy and prevention of hypertrophic PWS."

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