CLOVES syndrome is one of a group of syndromes known as overgrowth syndromes. CLOVES is an acronym and each letter represents a characteristic seen in the syndrome:
Congenital means that the lesion is present when the child is born. Lipomatous growths are large collections or masses of fatty tissue. These masses are most commonly seen on the child’s chest or abdominal area, but they may also occur in other locations. They continue to grow in size even after the child is born.
Vascular malformations are a collection of blood vessels that are not formed correctly. These may be slow-flow malformations of capillaries, veins or lymphatics, but there may also be fast-flow malformations, such as arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The AVMs may be seen around or within the spine.
Epidermal nevi are present at birth. They are made of an overgrowth of epidermal tissue, which is the top layer of skin. The can be skin color or darker in color than the patient’s skin.
The spinal cord may be curved (scoliosis), or there may be defects in the structure itself. These defects can be spina bifida, malformations of the vertebrae, or a tethered spinal cord.
Children who have CLOVES syndrome may also have other symptoms, such as enlarged fingers or toes (macrodactyly), and a wide space between the first and second toe. They may also have dislocation of the hip (hip dysplasia), sunken chest wall (pectus excavatum), and spasticity or weakness of muscles.
The Vascular Lesion Center at Lurie Children's includes multidisciplinary specialists that are available to meet your child and develop a specialized plan of care that meets their unique needs. Children with CLOVES syndrome may need to be seen by many specialists, including dermatologists, interventional radiologists, otolaryngologists, plastic and general surgeons, oncologists, and physiatrists. Our psychologist and social worker will be able to help you and your child adjust to the changes and special needs that this condition requires.
If you’d like to request an appointment with one of our specialists from the Vascular Lesion Center, call 312.227.8521.