The epidermal nevus syndrome (ENS) is a sporadic neurocutaneous disorder that consists of epidermal nevi and congenital anomalies involving the brain and other systems. From among over 60 patients with ENS presenting with neurologic manifestations, we identified 17 who had hemimegalencephaly based on pathologic or radiologic studies. Associated brain and neurologic abnormalities included gyral malformations in 12 of 12, mental retardation in 13 of 14, seizures in 16 of 17 (including 9 with infantile spasms), and contralateral hemiparesis in 7 of 12. All had ipsilateral epidermal nevi of the head, and several had ipsilateral facial hemihypertrophy. We concluded that these abnormalities comprise a recognizable neurologic variant of ENS that we believe represents the full expression of primary brain involvement. Several patients also had evidence of acquired brain lesions such as infarcts, atrophy, porencephaly, and calcifications, which are best explained by prior ischemia or hemorrhage. Given repeated observations of blood vessel anomalies in ENS patients, we hypothesize that underlying vascular dysplasia predisposes to these acquired lesions. The same cause may be invoked to explain the wide variety of neurologic symptoms reported in ENS patients without hemimegalencephaly. While the cause of ENS remains unknown, several observations suggest a somatic mutation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology