Infantile Hemangioma

A hemangioma is an extremely common type of benign tumor that occurs most frequently in infants and children. It is composed of newly formed blood vessels that result from malformation of angioblastic tissue during fetal life. The two main types are capillary (superficial) and cavernous (deep) hemangiomas (Figs. 33-11 and 33-12).

Hemangiomas undergo a growth phase before resolving spontaneously. Although some regression begins by the end of the first year of life, many hemangiomas do not completely resolve until the child is 10 to 12 years old. Although typically benign, rapidly proliferating hemangiomas can ulcerate. Those on the face may obscure vision and can cause blindness. Hemangiomas of the genital region are also problematic and may indicate other internal malformations. Persistent or obstructive hemangiomas have been successfully treated with propranolol, lasers, excision, systemic cortico-steroids, interferon, imiquimod, and cryosurgery.

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