Cobb Syndrome

Also known as: Cobb syndrome

What is Cobb syndrome?

Cobb syndrome is a rare, non-inherited disorder characterized by visible skin lesions with underlying spinal angiomas or arteriovenous malformations (AVM). The skin lesions typically are present as Port-Wine Stains (light pink to dark purple birthmarks), but reports exist of angiokeratomas, angiolipomas, and lymphangioma circumscriptum.

The congenital cutaneous vascular lesions are usually distributed in a dermatomal pattern, from midline back to abdomen. The underlying intraspinal lesions may be angiomas and AVMs at the same level of the spinal cord corresponding to the involved dermatomes of the skin. 

What are the symptoms of Cobb syndrome?

Patients typically present with a sudden onset of back or lower extremity radicular pain associated with numbness or, in some cases, paralysis.

What are the treatment options for Cobb syndrome?

Early intervention with spinal decompression is key to minimizing permanent neurological damage; thus, early correct diagnosis is of extreme importance. A possible complication if treatment is delayed is Foix-Alajouanine disease which is a necrotic myelophathy due to thrombosis in the spinal angioma.

Patients displaying signs and symptoms of this disorder may undergo several imaging studies such as MRI, Radiography, Angiography, and CT scans, as well as a thorough work-up by specialists in the fields of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Interventional Radiology to ensure the best prognosis.

This page was last updated on: July 26, 2021 12:44 PM

The International Birthmark Institute

Evaluation and management of all birthmarks with special expertise in vascular birthmarks or vascular anomalies in newborn babies and children.

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