|Classification and external resources|
Milroy's disease is a familial disease characterized by lymphedema, commonly in the legs, caused by congenital abnormalities in the lymphatic system. Disruption of the normal drainage of lymph leads to fluid accumulation and hypertrophy of soft tissues. It is also known as Milroy disease, Nonne-Milroy-Meige syndrome and hereditary lymphedema.
Milroy's disease is also known as primary or hereditary lymphedema type 1A or early onset lymphedema. It is a very rare disease with only about 200 cases reported in the medical literature. Milroy's disease is an autosomal dominant condition caused by a mutation in the FLT4 gene which encodes of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR-3) gene located on the long arm (q) on chromosome 5 (5q35.3).
In contrast to Milroy's disease (early onset lymphedema type 1A,) which typically has its onset of swelling and edema at birth or during early infancy, hereditary lymphedema type II, known as Meige disease, has its onset around the time of puberty. Meige disease is also an autosomal dominant disease. It has been linked to a mutations in the ‘forkhead’ family transcription factor (FOXC2) gene located on the long arm of chromosome 16 (16q24.3). About 2000 cases have been identified. A third type of hereditary lymphedema, that has an onset after the age of 35 is known as lymph-edema tarda.
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