Parkes Weber Syndrome (PWS) 

This rare fast-flow combined vascular malformation usually involves a lower limb, and it is usually associated with a geographic stain over the enlarged limb. Symptoms include cutaneous warmth and a bruit or thrill on clinical examination, all of which are more suggestive of a complex vascular malformation than a simple capillary malformation or port-wine stain. MRIs and MRAs show enlarged extremity muscles and bones with an abnormal signal intensity and contrast enhancement pattern; they also show generalized arterial and venous dilatation in the involved extremity.


Photo shows typical Parkes weber syndrome involving the left leg; the diseased leg appears larger than the normal right leg and there are patchy skin discolorations. Second image, a CTA (computed tomographic angiography or arteriography) image shows increased vascularity representing abnormal arteriovenous connections, whereas normal arteries are seen in the normal leg.


CT (computed tomography) image shows increased vascularity scattered in the leg with increased leg circumference. Normal vasculature is seen in the other leg.




  Frederick Parkes Weber was the son of Sir Hermann David Weber (1823-1918), who came to England from Germany as a young man and became physician to Queen Victoria. The middle name "Parkes" was derived from his father's great friend, Sir Edmund Parkes and in time this forename became coupled with his surname, so that he was generally known as "Parkes Weber". He was educated at Charterhouse School, Cambridge University and studied medicine at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, as well as in Cambridge, Paris, and Vienna.

Weber obtained his doctorate at Cambridge in 1892 and after qualification held resident posts at St. Bartholomew's Hospital as House Surgeon and House Physician, and at the Brompton Hospital for Chest Diseases as house physician, before being appointed as honorary physician to the German Hospital, Queen Square, London, in 1894. In this capacity he carried on with his duties until he reached his 80th year. He was also physician at the North London Hospital for Consumption. From 1899 to 1911 he was first assistant physician, then physician at the Mount Vernons Hospital for Chest Diseases. In 1921 Parker was the first Mitchell Lecturer at the Royal College of physicians.

Weber remained active at the Royal Society of Medicine until after the age of 90 years. Over a span of 50 years he wrote over 1.200 medical articles and contributed to more than 20 books or chapters.

Like his father he was a keen alpinist and collector of coins and vases, which towards the end of his life he donated to museums. Among his many fascinating articles was one on death in the arts, 1910, and he also wrote books on the philosophy of medicine.


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