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Lymphat Res Biol. 2003;1(4):321-30.

Ophthalmic issues in hemangiomas of infancy.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Pediatrics 1, NYU School of Medicine, USA.


Hemangiomas are the most common benign tumor of infancy. Although most hemangiomas remain asymptomatic, certain hemangiomas can cause significant morbidity and require treatment. Periocular hemangiomas require close observation and early therapy for those lesions with potential for visual impairment. Hemangiomas typically cause visual morbidity by induction of amblyopia, strabismus, significant refractive error or optic nerve compromise. Diagnosis is typically straightforward but occasionally other entities may cause diagnostic confusion and radiologic evaluation can be helpful. This is particularly important if the hemangioma is one component of the PHACES syndrome. Therapeutic options which may be useful include steroids (oral, intralesional or topical), interferon alpha (usually reserved for life- or sight-threatening lesions due to serious potential side effects), laser, embolization and surgery. Ophthalmic treatment using patching, atropine, glasses and stabismus surgery may be necessary.

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