Sonographic screening for Wilms tumor in children with CLOVES syndrome

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2017 Dec;64(12). doi: 10.1002/pbc.26684. Epub 2017 Jun 19.


Background: CLOVES syndrome is associated with somatic mosaic PIK3CA mutations and characterized by congenital lipomatous overgrowth, vascular malformations, epidermal nevi, and skeletal anomalies. Wilms tumor (WT) is a malignant embryonal renal neoplasm associated with hemihypertrophy and certain overgrowth disorders. After identifying WT in a child with CLOVES, we questioned whether ultrasonographic screening was necessary in these patients.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients with CLOVES syndrome in our Vascular Anomalies Center at Boston Children's Hospital between 1998 and 2016 to identify those who developed WT. A PubMed literature search was also conducted to find other patients with both conditions.

Results: A total of 122 patients with CLOVES syndrome were found in our database (mean age 7.7 years, range 0-53 years). Four patients developed WT; all were diagnosed by 2 years of age. The incidence of WT in our CLOVES patient population (3.3%) was significantly greater than the incidence of WT in the general population (1/10,000) (P < 0.001). Four additional patients with WT and CLOVES syndrome were identified in our literature review.

Conclusion: Patients with CLOVES syndrome have an increased risk of WT. Given the benefits of early detection and treatment, children with CLOVES syndrome should be considered for quarterly abdominal ultrasonography until age 7 years. Screening may be most beneficial for patients under 3 years of age.

Keywords: CLOVES; PIK3CA; Wilms tumor; hemihypertrophy; systemic overgrowth; vascular anomaly.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Class I Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lipoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Abnormalities / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mutation
  • Nevus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography*
  • Vascular Malformations / diagnostic imaging*
  • Wilms Tumor / diagnostic imaging*
  • Wilms Tumor / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Class I Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • PIK3CA protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Congenital Lipomatous Overgrowth, Vascular Malformations, and Epidermal Nevi