Saanichton, BC

Dr. Miguel A. Lipka

Cutis Marmorata Telangiectatica Congenita

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Cutis marmorata telangiectatica congenita (CMTC) is a rare condition that mainly affects the blood vessels of the skin.

It is usually seen at birth or soon after.

The exact cause of CMTC is unknown. Some researchers think it may be caused by a specific type of genetic condition, however, it is not usually seen in more than one family member. CMTC is unlikely to be caused by any medication taken during pregnancy or any activity performed during this time.

CMTC can be associated with other conditions. Related abnormalities are found in up to 50% of patients with CMTC. These abnormalities include vascular conditions such as capillary malformations (red-colored patches that are present at birth) and hemangiomas (non-cancerous, blood-filled growths that appear in the first weeks of life). Other associated conditions include:

  • Overgrowth or undergrowth of extremities
  • Body asymmetry
  • Problems with teeth
  • Glaucoma - increased pressure of the fluid within the eye
  • Delayed development
  • Macrocephaly - enlarged head size

CMTC looks like a purple/reddish, marble-like pattern on the surface of the skin. This pattern is similar to the fishnet-like blotches seen in young infants when they are cold. In children with CMTC, the marbling is more severe and always visible.

The marble-like skin pattern may be limited to a certain part of the body and there may be slight depressions in the skin. CMTC also may be distributed over large areas of the body. CMTC can affect the arms, trunk and face, but usually occurs on the legs. The skin pattern may become more visible with vigorous movement, crying, or with exposure to the cold.

Most patients with CMTC show gradual but definite improvement with age. The most noticeable change occurs during the first year of life. After this time, fading of the mottled skin pattern slows down, but continues as the skin matures and thickens. Since the marble-like skin pattern fades on its own, no special treatment for CMTC is needed.

Due to the incidence of other related conditions, careful evaluation and follow-up is important, and some infants require consultations with other pediatric specialists.