Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome with cryptorchidism, recurrent pneumothorax, and pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis-like foci: A case report

Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Nov;96(47):e8853. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000008853.


Rationale: Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is a rare autosomal dominant inherited collagen disorder caused by defects or deficiency of pro-alpha 1 chain of type III procollagen encoded by COL3A1. vEDS is characterized not only by soft tissue manifestations including hyperextensibility of skin and joint hypermobility but also by early mortality due to rupture of arteries or vital organs. Although pulmonary complications are not common, vEDS cases complicated by pneumothorax, hemothorax, or intrapulmonary hematoma have been reported. When a patient initially presents only with pulmonary complications, it is not easy for clinicians to suspect vEDS.

Patient concerns: We report a case of an 18-year-old high school student, with a past history of cryptorchidism, presenting with recurrent pneumothorax.

Diagnoses: Routine laboratory findings were unremarkable. Chest high resolution computed tomographic scan showed age-unmatched hyperinflation of both lungs, atypical cystic changes and multifocal ground glass opacities scattered in both lower lobes. His slender body shape, hyperflexible joints, and hyperextensible skin provided clue to suspicion of a possible connective tissue disorder.

Interventions: The histological examination of the lung lesions showed excessive capillary proliferation in the pulmonary interstitium and pleura allowing the diagnosis of pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis (PCH)-like foci. Genetic study revealed COL3A1 gene splicing site mutation confirming his diagnosis as vEDS.

Outcomes: Although his diagnosis vEDS is notorious for fatal vascular complication, there was no evidence of such complication at presentation. Fortunately, he has been followed up for 10 months without pulmonary or vascular complications.

Lessons: To the best of our knowledge, both cryptorchidism and PCH-like foci have never been reported yet as complications of vEDS, suggesting our case might be a new variant of this condition. This case emphasizes the importance of comprehensive physical examination and history-taking, and the clinical suspicion of a possible connective tissue disorder when we encounter cases with atypical presentation and/or unique chest radiologic findings especially in young patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Collagen Type III / analysis
  • Cryptorchidism / etiology*
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / complications*
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / genetics
  • Hemangioma, Capillary / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Pneumothorax / etiology*
  • Recurrence


  • COL3A1 protein, human
  • Collagen Type III

Supplementary concepts

  • Hemangiomatosis, familial pulmonary capillary