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J Pediatr. 2012 Jun;160(6):1021-6.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.12.026. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Gastrointestinal bleeding in infantile hemangioma: a complication of segmental, rather than multifocal, infantile hemangiomas.

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Department of Dermatology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.



To highlight an association of facial segmental hemangiomas with gastrointestinal bleeding in infants with infantile hemangiomas.


We conducted a multicenter retrospective case series study.


Ten female patients met study inclusion criteria; 8 were Caucasian, 9 had a facial segmental hemangioma, and 9 cases met the diagnostic criteria for definitive posterior fossa malformations, hemangioma, arterial lesions, cardiac anomalies/coarctation of the aorta and eye abnormalities syndrome with abnormalities of the aorta and cerebral arteriopathy. Severe gastrointestinal bleeding requiring blood transfusion occurred in 9 cases, with age at presentation of gastrointestinal bleeding ranging from 8 days to 6 months. When detected, the location of the hemangioma in the small intestine was in the distribution of the superior mesenteric artery. More than one agent was required to control the gastrointestinal bleeding, including oral or intravenous steroids, vincristine, oral propranolol, interferon, and resection of the small intestine. All cases needed ongoing support care with red blood cell transfusions.


Gastrointestinal bleeding is a rare complication of true infantile hemangioma. The segmental pattern of the cutaneous hemangioma associated with gastrointestinal bleeding should suggest a segmental infantile hemangioma of the lower gastrointestinal tract.

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