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Disease Profile

Hereditary lymphedema type II

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset






Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Meige disease; Meige lymphedema; Lymphedema, late-onset;


Blood Diseases; Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Skin Diseases


Hereditary lymphedema type II is a primary lymphedema that results from abnormal transport of lymph fluid. Individuals with this condition usually develop swelling in the lower legs and feet during puberty. Some affected individuals develop a non-contagious skin infection called cellulitis, which can further damage the lymphatic vessels (the thin tubes that carry lymph fluid). While the cause of hereditary lymphedema type II is unknown, it is thought to be genetic because it tends to run in families. It appears to have an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance.[1]


Hereditary lymphedema type II is characterized by the abnormal transport of lymph fluid. This causes the lymph fluid to build up, causing swelling (lymphedema). Individuals with hereditary lymphedema type II usually develop swelling in the lower legs and feet during puberty. Some affected individuals develop a non-contagious skin infection called cellulitis, which can further damage the lymphatic vessels (the thin tubes that carry lymph fluid).[1]

This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Absence of lymph node germinal center
Atypical scarring of skin
Atypical scarring
Bacterial infection of skin
Skin infection

[ more ]

Cobblestone-like hyperkeratosis
Lymph node hypoplasia
Pedal edema
Fluid accumulation in lower limbs
Lower leg swelling

[ more ]

Predominantly lower limb lymphedema
Recurrent bacterial skin infections
Skin dimple
Skin erosion
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Cleft palate
Cleft roof of mouth
Edema of the dorsum of hands
Facial edema
Facial puffiness
Facial swelling

[ more ]

Laryngeal edema
Periorbital edema
Peripheral edema
Pleural effusion
Fluid around lungs
Skin ulcer
Open skin sore
Varicose veins
Yellow nails
Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Autosomal dominant inheritance
Hypoplasia of lymphatic vessels
Underdeveloped lymphatic vessels


The cause of hereditary lymphedema type II is unknown. The condition is thought to be genetic because it tends to run in families. Researchers have studied many genes associated with the lymphatic system; however, to date, no specific genetic change has been associated with this type of lymphedema.[1]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

    • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
    • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Hereditary lymphedema type II. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
    • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

      In-Depth Information

      • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
      • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
      • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
      • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Hereditary lymphedema type II. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


        1. Meige lymphedema. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). November 2010; https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/meige-lymphedema. Accessed 2/9/2012.

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