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Arch Dermatol. 2008 Dec;144(12):1632-7. doi: 10.1001/archderm.144.12.1632.

Infantile hemangiomas with unusually prolonged growth phase: a case series.

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Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Most infantile hemangiomas (IHs) complete their proliferative growth phase before 9 months of age, but those with unusually prolonged growth create unique clinical challenges. We performed a retrospective case series of IHs with prolonged growth to further characterize these lesions and their treatment.


We identified 23 patients as having IHs with prolonged growth after 9 months of age, with growth to a mean age of 17 months. All of the IHs had a deep dermal to subcutaneous component, all had either segmental or indeterminate morphologic characteristics, and 39% involved the parotid gland. A total of 20 of 23 received prolonged treatment with systemic corticosteroids (mean duration of treatment, 11 months), and 9 of 20 received additional systemic therapies (vincristine sulfate and/or interferon alfa-2a or alfa-2b).


Prolonged growth was observed primarily in IHs with a deep component and segmental morphologic characteristics. Recognition of this subset of hemangiomas is important for clinicians, and further study of IHs may provide clues to their pathogenesis.

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