Presence of vascular anomalies with congenital hemihypertrophy and Wilms tumor: an evidence-based evaluation

Pediatr Dermatol. May-Jun 2003;20(3):199-206. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1470.2003.20303.x.


Congenital hemihypertrophy is an uncommon condition of unknown etiology characterized by unilateral overgrowth of part or all of one side of the body. Hemihypertrophy is known to be associated with certain childhood tumors, most notably Wilms tumor (or nephroblastoma), and for this reason infants with hemihypertrophy are often followed with serial abdominal ultrasounds. Klippel-Trénaunay syndrome (KTS) is the triad of port-wine stain, venous varicosities, and soft tissue and/or bony hypertrophy. Children with KTS typically have localized rather than generalized hemihypertrophy, but occasionally the hypertrophy is more extensive than the vascular anomaly itself. Information is lacking about whether hemihypertrophy in this setting can also be a risk factor for Wilms tumor. We systematically reviewed the medical literature to determine whether well-documented cases of Wilms tumor in the setting of both hemihypertrophy and vascular anomalies have been described, and if found, whether the association was sufficiently frequent that routine screening for Wilms tumor in this setting should be recommended. A review of case reports and case series in the pediatric population was undertaken using specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. We found 4 of 58 subjects with hemihypertrophy and Wilms tumor had a reported vascular anomaly, but in only one case was a clear-cut diagnosis of KTS confirmed. The relationship of the other three vascular anomalies reported was of uncertain significance. In conclusion, our review suggests that the risk of Wilms tumor in the setting of localized soft-tissue hypertrophy in conjunction with a vascular malformation is quite low. More extensive hemihypertrophy extending to body sites remote from the vascular malformation itself could have a higher risk of Wilms tumor, although the magnitude of this risk is uncertain. Our findings suggest that routine serial abdominal ultrasounds in patients with vascular malformations in association with localized soft-tissue hypertrophy are unwarranted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / epidemiology*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / epidemiology*
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / genetics
  • Comorbidity
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / epidemiology
  • Hypertrophy / genetics
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney Neoplasms / congenital
  • Kidney Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Analysis
  • Wilms Tumor / congenital
  • Wilms Tumor / epidemiology*