Hereditary Lymphedema

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Hereditary Lymphedema is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • primary lymphedema

Disorder Subdivisions

  • congenital hereditary lymphedema
  • hereditary lymphedema, type I
  • lymphedema praecox
  • lymphedema tarda
  • Milroy disease
  • Nonne-Milroy disease
  • lymphedema-distichiasis

General Discussion

Hereditary lymphedema is a genetic developmental disorder affecting the lymphatic system. It is characterized by swelling (edema) of certain parts of the body. The lymphatic system is a circulatory network of vessels, ducts, and nodes that filter and distribute certain protein-rich fluid (lymph) and blood cells throughout the body. In hereditary lymphedema, lymphatic fluid collects in the subcutaneous tissues under the epidermis due to obstruction, malformation, or underdevelopment (hypoplasia) of various lymphatic vessels. There are three forms of hereditary lymphedema: congenital hereditary lymphedema or Milroy disease; lymphedema praecox or Meige disease; and lymphedema tarda. Symptoms include swelling (lymphedema) and thickening and hardening of the skin in affected areas. In most cases, hereditary lymphedema is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait.

Lymphedema may be classified as primary or secondary. Hereditary lymphedema is also known as primary lymphedema. Secondary lymphedema occurs because of damage to the lymphatic system from surgery, radiation therapy, trauma or infection (e.g. filariasis).

Lipedema is a symmetrical accumulation of subcutaneous fat, most often in the legs. Lipedema occurs almost exclusively in females. Tenderness and bruising are alsocommon. Lipedema is frequently misdiagnosed as lymphedema.

Resources

National Lymphedema Network
116 New Montgomery Street
Suite 235
San Francisco, CA 94105
Tel: (415)908-3681
Fax: (415)908-3813
Tel: (800)541-3259
Email: nln@lymphnet.org
Internet: http://www.lymphnet.org

March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Tel: (888)663-4637
Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com
Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20892-0105
Tel: (301)592-8573
Fax: (301)251-1223
Email: nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/

Lymphovenous Canada
8 Silver Ave
Toronto
Ontario, Intl M6R 1X8
Canada
Tel: 416-533-2428
Email: info@lymphovenous-canada.ca
Internet: http://www.lymphovenous-canada.ca

Vascular Disease Foundation
1075 S. Yukon Street
Suite 320
Lakewood, CO 80226
Tel: (303)989-0500
Fax: (303)989-0200
Tel: (888)833-4463
Email: info@vdf.org
Internet: http://www.vdf.org

Lymphatic Research Foundation
40 Garvies Point Road
Glen Cove, NY 11542
USA
Tel: (516)625-9675
Fax: (516)625-9410
Email: lrf@lymphaticresearch.org
Internet: http://www.lymphaticresearch.org

MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
USA
Email: mums@netnet.net
Internet: http://www.netnet.net/mums/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  6/28/2012
Copyright  1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1999, 2006, 2008, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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