Sturge-weber syndrome: Ear, nose, and throat issues and neurologic status

Natasha D. Irving, Jae Hyung Lim, Bernard Cohen, Lisa M. Ferenc, Anne M. Comi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The pathophysiology of Sturge-Weber syndrome is poorly understood, and ear, nose, and throat involvement is possible. These issues can result in frequent illnesses or airway obstruction, affecting patients' neurologic status. Patients with definite brain involvement who reported potential ear, nose, and throat issues on intake questionnaires underwent retrospective reviews of their medical records. We examined the relationships between these issues, secondary surgical interventions, and patients' neurologic status. The most common complaints involved the sinuses and frequent ear infections. Six patients underwent placement of ear tubes, leading to improvements in migraines and stroke-like episodes in one patient, and improved seizure control in four others. Obstructive sleep apnea was confirmed in three patients who underwent sleep studies. Tonsil or adenoid removal occurred in another three patients. Surgery resulted in marked improvements regarding excessive drooling, daytime sleepiness, and breathing problems. These findings suggest that ear, nose, and throat problems occur frequently in patients with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, and when repeated ear infections are associated with uncontrolled seizures, early placement of ear tubes may be beneficial. Furthermore, patients with facial tissue hypertrophy may be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, and should be appropriately evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-244
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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