Laser Treatment of Port Wine Stains

  • Martin J. C. Van Gemert
  • A. J. Welch
  • John W. Pickering
  • Oon Tian Tan
Part of the Lasers, Photonics, and Electro-Optics book series (LPEO)


Port wine stains (PWS) are vascular malformations that are present at birth. Historically, vascular birthmarks have been described in prominent individuals such as Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.), the famous Roman orator, James II of Scotland (1430–1460), and in the twentieth century, Mikhail Gorbachev, the past leader of the Russian Communist party. Cicero was described by George Hieronymous Velsch in 1672 as having a vascular birthmark, the size of a pea below his left eye. Evidence from woodcut portraits of James II of Scotland suggests that he did indeed have a port wine stain on the left side of his face. Mikhail Gorbachev with his PWS birthmark on his forehead, amounting almost to a trademark, was the target for laser treatment by many therapists across the world.


Laser Treatment Target Vessel Fluence Rate Laser Beam Diameter Port Wine Stain 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin J. C. Van Gemert
    • 1
  • A. J. Welch
    • 2
  • John W. Pickering
    • 3
  • Oon Tian Tan
    • 4
  1. 1.Laser CenterAcademic Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Laser CenterAcademic Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Comparative MedicineTufts UniversityBostonUSA

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