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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000 Feb;42(2 Pt 1):225-35.

Residual lesions after Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon in 41 patients.

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Consultation des Angiomes, Département de Neuroradiologie et Angiographie thérapeutique, Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris, France.



Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon (KMP) is the association of a vascular tumor and thrombocytopenic coagulopathy. Vascular tumors are either kaposiform hemangioendothelioma or tufted angioma but not "true" common hemangioma of infancy. There is a conspicuous absence in the literature regarding the late outcome and possible residual lesions after apparent clinical cure of KMP.


The purpose of the study was to analyze these residua in a large number of patients.


Clinical data on 41 patients who had KMP were accrued in an international cooperative study. The emphasis was on the residual lesions after resolution of the thrombocytopenia and other coagulation abnormalities. Imaging studies (follow-up magnetic resonance imaging studies available for 10 patients) and histologic specimens (30 specimens available for 26 patients, 18 biopsies done during the KMP and 12 concerning the sequelae) were reviewed.


Residual lesions after "cure" of KMP were common. They exhibited 3 clinical patterns: type I lesions (n = 28) showed a cutaneous red stain, with or without associated red papules. The stain might overlap a minor fibrotic infiltration or a significant poorly delineated diffuse fibrotic infiltration. These cutaneous vascular lesions varied in size and appearance over time and were occasionally painful. Type II lesions were telangiectatic streaks and swelling (n = 5), and type III lesions showed a minor, firm, irregular, subcutaneous mass assessed by palpation or deep infiltration evidenced by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (n = 8). A fourth feature was sequelae in muscles and/or joints. Histologically, tufted angioma was more common in the specimens from residual lesions, whereas kaposiform hemangioendothelioma was more common during the active phase of KMP. Imaging findings were remarkably reproducible and revealed a persistent vascular tumor.


Residua of tumors associated with KMP are common after the resolution of thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy. They are (more or less) prominent dormant vascular tumors, not "scars" and, clinically as well as histologically, they differ markedly from involuted hemangioma.

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