(HealthDay News) – Hypertrophy is present in the majority of patients with port-wine stains (PWS) who are >50 years.

Anne Margreet van Drooge, MD, from the University of Amsterdam, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed medical records and clinical photographs of all patients with PWS visiting a clinic between 2005–2009. Three hundred thirty-five participants (age range, 0–81 years; 69% female) responded to a questionnaire regarding hypertrophic PWS.

The researchers identified hypertrophy in 20% of PWS patients, which was classified as thickened (5%), nodular (8%), or both (7%). The color of hypertrophic PWS was mainly red or purple (50 and 44%, respectively). Sixty-eight percent of patients with hypertrophy in their PWS were <40 years and only 7% were <20 years. Of the patients <50 years, 71% had hypertrophy in their PWS. The median age of hypertrophy onset was 31 years – 12 years for thickened hypertrophy and 39 years for nodular hypertrophy.

“This study shows that hypertrophy is a common development in PWS, affecting 20% of all patients with PWS and 71% of patients <50 years,” the authors write. “Patients should be informed about the natural course of PWS and more attention needs to be drawn to therapy and prevention of hypertrophic PWS.”

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