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Rev Neurol. 2000 May 1-15;30(9):837-41.

[Occipital leptomeningeal angiomatosis without facial angioma. Could it be considered a variant of Sturge-Weber syndrome?].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Infantil Universitario La Paz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, España.



The association of cerebral leptomeningeal angioma and facial nevus flameus in the territory of the first branch of the trigeminal nerve ipsilateral to the angioma is known as the Sturge-Weber syndrome. The cases with absence of a facial angioma are usually considered to be variants of the syndrome.


To present four cases with occipital leptomeningeal angioma without facial angioma and describe the characteristics which differentiate them from or permit their inclusion within the group of Sturge-Weber syndrome, and also to establish the differences between this and the Gobbi syndrome (occipital cerebral calcifications, epilepsy and coeliac disease.


We selected four cases in whom cranial magnetic resonance was done with intravenous gadolinium and three cases studied to rule out coeliac disease. The cerebral calcifications, unilateral in all four cases, were similar to those observed in the Sturge-Weber syndrome. All cases had leptomeningeal angiomas at the level of the cerebral calcification shown by the uptake of contrast material on magnetic resonance. Three patients had epilepsy but none had facial angiomas, hemiparesis or glaucoma. Coeliac disease was also ruled out, both on laboratory investigations and on intestinal biopsy.


The cases described coincide with the Sturge-Weber syndrome in all having cerebral leptomeningeal angiomas. This differentiated them from the Gobbi syndrome which does not include meningeal angiomata. Another characteristic of the Sturge-Weber syndrome is the occurrence of epilepsy and mental deficiency. Whilst awaiting molecular genetic studies, our cases may be included semantically as a variant of the Sturge-Weber syndrome without the characteristic facial angioma, although they may possibly correspond to genetically different conditions.

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