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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Milroy disease


Other Names for this Disease
  • Congenital hereditary lymphedema
  • Congenital primary lymphedema
  • Early onset lymphedema
  • Hereditary lymphedema
  • Hereditary lymphedema 1
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Treatment

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How might Milroy disease be treated?

There is currently no cure for Milroy disease. Management is typically conservative and usually successful in most people.[1] Management of lymphedema should be guided by a lymphedema therapist. Some improvement is usually possible with the use of properly fitted compression hosiery or bandaging and well fitting, supportive shoes. Good skin care is essential. These measures may improve the cosmetic appearance of the affected areas, decrease their size, and reduce the risk of complications.[2] Decongestive physiotherapy, which combines compression bandaging, manual lymphatic drainage (a specialized massage technique), exercise, breathing exercises, dietary measures and skin care, has become the standard of care for primary lymphedema.[1] People with recurrent cellulitis may benefit from prophylactic antibiotics.[2][1] Surgical intervention is considered a last option when other medical management fails.[1]

When possible, people with Milroy disease should avoid:
  • wounds to swollen areas (because of their reduced resistance to infection)
  • long periods of immobility
  • prolonged standing
  • elevation of the affected limb
  • certain medications (particularly calcium channel-blocking drugs that can cause increased leg swelling in some people)[2]
Last updated: 2/2/2015

References
  1. Kitsiou-Tzeli S, Vrettou C, Leze E, Makrythanasis P, Kanavakis E, Willems P. Milroy's primary congenital lymphedema in a male infant and review of the literature. In Vivo. May-June, 2010; 24(3):309-314.
  2. Glen W Brice, Sahar Mansour, Pia Ostergaard, Fiona Connell, Steve Jeffery, and Peter Mortimer. Milroy Disease. GeneReviews. September 25, 2014; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1239/.


Management Guidelines

  • GeneReviews provides current, expert-authored, peer-reviewed, full-text articles describing the application of genetic testing to the diagnosis, management, and genetic counseling of patients with specific inherited conditions. Click on the link to view the article on this topic.

Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Milroy disease. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Congenital hereditary lymphedema
  • Congenital primary lymphedema
  • Early onset lymphedema
  • Hereditary lymphedema
  • Hereditary lymphedema 1
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.