Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS)

Also known as: SWS

What is Sturge-Weber syndrome?

This is a rare congenital disorder associated with a port-wine stain birthmark on the face, glaucoma, seizures, intellectual disabilities, and arteriovenous malformations of the brain. The brain is usually affected on the same side of the head as the birthmark.

What are the signs and symptoms of Sturge-Weber syndrome?

The syndrome may be diagnosed at birth by seizures accompanied by a large port-wine stain birthmark (light pink to deep purple) on the forehead and upper eyelid of one side of the face, due to an overabundance of capillaries. Some children will also have intellectual disabilities, muscle weakness, and about 50% will have glaucoma.

What are the treatment options for Sturge-Weber syndrome?

Treatment for the Sturge-Weber is symptomatic, with laser treatment used to lighten or remove the birthmark, anticonvulsants to control seizures, physical therapy to strengthen muscles, and yearly ophthalmology monitoring for glaucoma. 

This page was last updated on: July 29, 2021 01:18 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.

Learn More