What is tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)?

Updated: Aug 21, 2018
  • Author: David Neal Franz, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Answer

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder affecting cellular differentiation, proliferation, and migration early in development, resulting in a variety of hamartomatous lesions that may affect virtually every organ system of the body.

The best-known cutaneous manifestation of TSC is adenoma sebaceum, which often does not appear until late childhood or early adolescence. This lesion is an angiofibroma (ie, cutaneous hamartoma) and is not related to excessive sebum or acne. Flat, reddish macular lesions develop first, which can be mistaken for freckles early on. See the image below.

Facial angiofibromas in a young man with tuberous Facial angiofibromas in a young man with tuberous sclerosis complex.

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