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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 64-67 Table of Contents     

Anaesthetic Management of A Patient with Sturge-Weber Syndrome Undergoing Oophorectomy

1 Professor, Department Of Anaesthesiology,BYL Nair Charitable Hospital & T N Medical College,Mumbai 400008, India
2 Professor &Head ofDepartment, Department Of Anaesthesiology,BYL Nair Charitable Hospital & T N Medical College,Mumbai 400008, India
3 P.G.Student, Department Of Anaesthesiology,BYL Nair Charitable Hospital & T N Medical College,Mumbai 400008, India
4 Lecturer, Department Of Anaesthesiology,BYLNair Charitable Hospital & TNMedical College,Mumbai 400008, India

Date of Web Publication3-Mar-2010

Correspondence Address:
Herman Sehmbi
P.G.Student, Department Of Anaesthesiology,BYL Nair Charitable Hospital & T N Medical College,Mumbai 400008
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20640080

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The Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS) is a neurocutaneous disorder characterized by leptomeningeal and facial angiomas, neurologic and ocular manifestations. We report a case of oophorectomy for ovarian dermoid in a 14 year ­old girl who was a diagnosed case of Sturge-Weber Syndrome. General anaesthesia was given for the procedure. The perioperative anaesthestic management is discussed in the present report.

Keywords: Sturge-Weber Syndrome, Port Wine Angioma, Cerebro-Cortical Atrophy, Propofol

How to cite this article:
Gandhi M, Iyer H, Sehmbi H, Datir K. Anaesthetic Management of A Patient with Sturge-Weber Syndrome Undergoing Oophorectomy. Indian J Anaesth 2009;53:64-7

How to cite this URL:
Gandhi M, Iyer H, Sehmbi H, Datir K. Anaesthetic Management of A Patient with Sturge-Weber Syndrome Undergoing Oophorectomy. Indian J Anaesth [serial online] 2009 [cited 2020 Jan 28];53:64-7. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Sturge [1] (1879) first described the clinical features of the disease and Weber [2] (1929) demonstrated the pattern of intracranial calcification and named it Encephalofacial Angiomatosis. The Sturge-Weber Syn­drome (SWS)is a rare neurocutaneous syndrome of unknown etiology. It is primarily characterized by con­genital cutaneous angiomas, neurological and ocular features. [3]

Leptomeningeal Angiomas may cause hemipare­sis, hemianopsia, stroke like episodes, headaches, sei­zures, developmental delay, learning disabilities and mental retardation. Vascular angiomas may involve the nose, palate, gingiva, tongue, larynx and trachea pos­ing challenge to laryngoscopy and intubation. Ocular features such as glaucoma make smooth induction and intubation necessary to limit the rise in intraocular and intracranial pressures. Perioperative hypoxemia, hy­poglycemia, hypotension, ischaemia and hyperthermia may precipitate seizures. The varied presentation and extent, that ranges from localized superficial skin lesions to extensive systemic and airway involvement, makes the anaesthetic management challenging. [4]

   Case Report Top

A 14-year-old girl (53kg), a known case of SWS presented with a lump in lower abdomen since 4 years with progressive increase in size and discomfort. She had recurrent episodes of convulsions, focal with sec­ondary generalization since 3 months of age with last episode 10 months ago and weakness in right upper extremity since childhood. The patient was on antiepileptic therapy (Carbamazepine 300 mg BD and Clobazam 10mg BD). Examination revealed a left sided 3 x 3cm portwine stainin V 1 distribution (first division of trigeminal nerve) over forehead, [Figure 1]. Right hemiparesis was also noted. There were no ocular features of SWS or any oropharyngeal hemangiom as on air­way evaluation. Routine blood and urine investigations, ECG and chest X-ray were normal. Pelvic ultrasound revealed a 24 x 17 x 9 cm mass arising from the left ovary which was confirmed by CT scan. A lateral skull X-ray revealed gyriform calcifications (Tram-Track appearance) in the left front oparietal region, [Figure 2]. CT scan of brain revealed a left parietal angioma with dys­trophic cerebral calcification, [Figure 3]. MRI scan of brain showed left parietal cerebral calcification, left cerebrocortical atrophy and signs of delayed myelination. Electroencephalography (EEG) showed attenuation of cerebral activity on the left side. A therapeutic drug level showed low normal levels of Carbamazepine 4mcg/ml (normal 4-12mcg/ml) and the dose was increased to 200mg five times a day and the same dose was con­tinued.

The patient under went explorative laparotomy for oophorectomy. She was premedicated with i.v fenta­nyl 80mcg, midazolam 1mg, ranitidine 50mg and i.v. ondansetron 4mg 15minutes prior to induction. Non invasive BP, ECG, SpO 2 and EtCO 2 were used to monitor the vitals. I.V. lidocaine 50mg was given to attenuate an intubation response. Preoxygenation was followed by induction with propofol 110mg and vecuronium 5mg. A careful gentle laryngoscopy and intubation were performed to minimize an intubation response. Anaesthesia was maintained with propofol infusion ( -1 .min -1 ), oxygen, nitrous ox­ide and vecuronium (three intermittent bolus doses of 1mg each at 20minute interval) with good haemodynamic stability. Fentanyl 50mcg was repeated intraoperatively. At the end of surgery, the neuromuscular blockade was reversed with neostigmine 2.5mg and atropine 1.2mg. Extubation response was attenuated using lidocaine 50mg. The patient was shifted to the post anaesthetic care unit (PACU) and post-operaive pain relief was pro­vided with i.v. tramadol 50mg TDS. The recovery was uneventful and the patient was discharged from the hos­pital on the 10 th postoperative day.

   Discussion Top

The SWS patients may present for facial and cos­metic surgeries, dental procedures, trabeculectomy, goniotomy, examination under anaesthesia, seizure con­troll surgery or other surgeries. [4],[5],[6]

Angiomas may involve the airway (nose, palate, gingiva, tongue, larynx and trachea) leading to difficult mask ventilation, laryngoscopy and intubation, apart from bleeding caused by rupture. Intubation should be done using a soft, lubricated, non styleted, cuffed en­dotracheal tube by expert anaesthesiologist. Because these vessels have abnormal utoregulation, the intraoperative blood pressure should be well controlled. [7] Emotional agitation may increase the volume of haemangiomas markedly and may necessitate avoiding surgery in the morning. [5] Vascular changes may also af­fect the dura, brain, pituitary, lungs, spleen, and other organs. [4] A thorough evaluation ruled out such lesions in our patient. Cutaneous features include PortWineStain, facial or extrafacial, truncal or on the extremities. Its presence in the V 1 distribution (first division of the trigeminal nerve) is associated with a higher risk of epi­lepsy or glaucoma. [3] Ocular features include glaucoma (30-71%) most commonly, bupthalmos, choroidal he­mangioma, strabismus and others. [3] They may require avoidance of drugs that can cause an increase in intra ocular pressure (IOP) such as succinylcholine and ketamine. Anticholinergics should be avoided in patients with narrow angle glaucoma.

Cerebral angioma undergoing vascular steal may lead to cerebral ischaemia resulting in intractable and recurrent seizures, status epilepticus, and recurrent vas­cular events. Seizures are the most common neurologic manifestations, mostly focal, though may be second­arily generalized. Onset of seizures before the age of 2 years suggests a greater chance of refractoriness, mental retardation and neurologic involvement. Early onset of seizures, extensive angiomas, progressive neurologic involvement, hemiparesis and deteriorating cognitive functions are predictors of poor outcome [3] . Our patient had an early onset (3 months of age), focal with sec­ondarily genaralised convulsions, with a recurrent course, but they were well controlled with carbamazepine and clobazam. Preoperatively, antiepileptic therapeutic drug level was done to guide the therapy. Since the therapeutic level of carbamazepine was low, its dose was increased from 600mg/day to 1000mg/day. Concommitant chronic use of antiepileptics can affect metabolism of some anaesthetic agents. Low cognitive understanding and mental retardation can interfere with doctor-patient communication perioperatively causing emotional stress, increased blood pressure and conse­quent swelling of angiomas. It is advisable to interview the patient preoperatively and establish a good rap­port. Succinylcholine is avoided in hemiplegia due to its effect on serum potassium [7],[8] . We used a fentanyl ­propofol vecuronium combination to achieve and main­tain haemodynamic stability intraoperatively [5] . Light plane of anaesthesia, bucking, straining and airway obstruction during induction or emergence can cause an increase in intraocular and intracranial pressures and should be prevented [9] . Events like hypoxemia, hypogly­cemia, hypotension, ischaemia and hyperthermia may precipitate status epilepticus and should be avoided [3] .

In case of dental procedures with oral angiomas, hemostasis may be difficult to achieve and an overzeal­ous approach should be avoided. Yamashiro and Furara [5] reported cancellation of gingivectomy due to potential for excessive bleeding. The presence of pre­existing neurodeficit (right sided hemiparesis) precluded the use of epidural anaesthesia in our patient. Despite the claims of proconvulsant actions of propofol, there is significant evidence to the contrary. Propofol has been successfully used to treat status epilepticus [10] and drug ­induced seizures [11] . Yamashiro and Furura [5] successfully used propofol in a patient of SWS for oral surgery. Cochran et al [12] reported that it is advisable to avoid propofolin patients at risk for seizures and poorly con­trolled epilepsy. Our patient was well controlled with anticonvulsants, hence we proceeded with the use of propofol. We encountered no problem or complica­tions which can be attributed to careful screening, moni­toring and anaesthetic management.

A good knowledge and an understanding of SWS, careful preoperative evaluation and a proper anaes­thetic management plan are of utmost significance. Achieving control of convulsive disorder perioperatively, attenuation of haemodynamic responses during airway manipulation and surgery, careful intuba­tion/extubation, avoiding trauma to angiomatous lesions, limiting the rise in intra-ocular and intracranial pressures, with adequate pain relief leads to safe anaesthetic man­agement of these patients.

   References Top

1.Sturge WA. A case of partial epilepsy, apparently due to a lesion of one of the vaso-motor centres of the brain. Transactions of the Clinical Society of London 1879;12:162-7.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Weber FP. A note on the association of extensive haemangiomatous naevus of the skin with cerebral (meningeal) haemangioma, especially cases of facial vascular naevus with contra-lateral hemiplegia. Proceed­ings of the Royal Society of Medicine 1929;22:431.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Takeoka M, Rivello Jr.JJ. Sturge Weber Syndrome. 2006. Available at :  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Batra R K, Gulaya V, Madan R, Trikha A. Anesthesia and the Sturge Weber Syndrome. Can J Anesth 1994;41:133-6.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Yamashiro M, Furuya H. Anesthestic management of a patient of Sturge Weber Syndrome under going oral surgery.AnesthProg2006;53:17-9.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.CeyhanA, cakan T, Basar H, Bababalim Mand Dnal N. Anesthesia for Sturge Weber Syndrome. Euro J Anesth 1999;16;339-41.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.Baum V, O' Flaherly J. Anesthesia for Syndromes of Childhood,1999 Edition,LippincottWilliamsandWilkins, pg294.  Back to cited text no. 7      
8.NaguibM, LienCA. Pharmacology Of Muscle Relaxants And Their Antagonists. In: Miller RD (Ed.). Miller's An­esthesia, 6' Th Edition, Churchill Livingstone 2005,Pg490.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Donlon JV, Doyle DJ, Feldman MA. Anesthesia for Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery. In: Miller RD(Ed.). Miller's Anesthesia,6' Th Edition, Churchill Livingstone 2005,pg 2531-2533.  Back to cited text no. 9      
10.Mackenzie SJ, Kapadia F, Grant IS. Propofol infusion for the control of status epilepticus. Anaesthesia 1990;45:1043-5.  Back to cited text no. 10      
11.Susan TH, Bruce DA. Tiagabine overdose induced sta­tus epilepticus responds to Propofol. The Internet Jour­nal of Toxicology. 2004;Volume1, Number 2. Available at : =journals/ijto/vol1n2/tiagabine.xml  Back to cited text no. 11      
12.Cochran D, Price W, Gwinnutt CL. Unilateral convul­sion after induction of anaesthesia with Propofol. Br J Anaesth1996;76:570-2.  Back to cited text no. 12      


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


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