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Management of infantile hemangiomas

Denise W Metry, MD
Section Editor
Moise L Levy, MD
Deputy Editor
Rosamaria Corona, MD, DSc


Infantile hemangiomas are benign tumors of vascular endothelium [1,2]. They are the most common tumors of childhood. They are characterized by a growth phase and involution phase. Despite their benign and self-limited nature, some hemangiomas can cause complications such as ulceration or life-altering disfigurement. In addition, they may compromise vital organ function, or herald underlying developmental anomalies of the central nervous system or spine. Infants with cutaneous hemangiomas, most often in the setting of multiple hemangiomas or a solitary segmental hemangioma, occasionally have additional hemangiomas of the liver, brain, respiratory tract, or gastrointestinal tract. Rarely, visceral hemangiomas can be symptomatic and associated with life-threatening complications.

The management of infantile hemangiomas will be discussed below. The epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, complications, and evaluation are discussed separately. (See "Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, and complications of infantile hemangiomas" and "Evaluation and diagnosis of infantile hemangiomas".)


Goals — The goals of hemangioma management include [3]:

Prevention or reversal of life-threatening or function-threatening complications (see "Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, and complications of infantile hemangiomas", section on 'Complications')

Prevention or minimization of disfigurement from residual skin changes


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Literature review current through: Apr 2016. | This topic last updated: Nov 10, 2015.
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