Can arterial stents be used to control Klippel Trenaunay syndrome?

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John Coleman

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John Coleman asked the Naked Scientists:

Dear Dr Chris,

I listen to your podcasts regularly and always find then enlightening…

My niece aged 2yrs has a condition called Klippel Trenaunay syndrome (KTS).  It is a medical condition in which blood vessels and/or lymph vessels fail to form properly. It can be extremely painful.  She is affected in one of her legs.  It is a rare condition that affects each individual in slightly different ways and there is no cure.  Whilst there are many medical problems associated with this condition, I would like to ask you, or one of your learned listeners a specific question related to arterial flow:

One of the serious issues with KTS is the overgrowth of the affected limb because of an increase in blood flow, my niece’s femoral artery is already the size of an adults and her leg is therefore almost twice the width of her unaffected limb.  Most of us are aware of the use of stents to widen arteries to increase blood flow as in the case of blocked arteries; but I was wondering if it is possible to narrow an artery to reduce blood flow?   Do you think this is a possible solution?  Any help most appreciated.

John Coleman

What do you think?


Offline RD

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Procedures to narrow dilated bloodvessels do exist, e.g. endovascular repair of aortic aneurysm.

However metal arterial stents cannot be removed, so this could only be done if the vessel was greater than adult size.
There are very new bioabsorbable stents which dissolve over a period of years.