We report a female patient who had a scalp hemangioma, a cleft uvula, an upper sternal defect, pectus excavatum, arachnodactyly, pes planus, and joint hypermobility. She had rupture of an aortic aneurysm after minor trauma at 11 years of age. At 17 years of age, elective repair of a dilated, ectatic aorta was complicated by cerebral ischemia. Other vascular abnormalities in the proband included an aneurysm of the left subclavian artery, atresia of the right carotid artery, and calcified cerebral aneurysms. We believe that the proband's physical anomalies are best described by the PHACE (posterior fossa brain malformations, hemangiomas, arterial anomalies, coarctation of the aorta and cardiac defects, and eye abnormalities) phenotypic spectrum. This spectrum of physical anomalies also includes sternal clefting and hemagiomas as part of the sternal malformation/vascular dysplasia (SM/VD) association, as found in our patient, and the acronym PHACES has also been used. We consider that the PHACE phenotypic spectrum is likely to be broader than previously recognized and includes oro-facial clefting and aortic dilatation and rupture. Our patient also had skeletal anomalies that lead to consideration of Marfan syndrome as a diagnosis. It should be recognized that there is clinical overlap between PHACE syndrome and Marfan syndrome when aortic dilatation is present. We would also like to emphasize the minor nature of the cutaneous findings in our patient despite her severe vascular complications. This is in contrast to previous reports of large or multiple hemangiomas in PHACE syndrome.
- Aortic dilatation and dissection
- PHACE spectrum
- Sternal malformation, vascular dysplasia association
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