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Ann Dermatol Venereol. 1998 Oct;125(10):682-7.

[Sclerosing tufted angioma. Apropos of 4 cases involving lower limbs].

[Article in French]

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Service de Dermatologie A, Hôpital Claude Huriez, Lille.



Tufted angioma belongs to the family of vascular skin proliferations. Clustered capillaries is the characteristic histological feature. Classically, tufted angioma is an acquired disease observed in children or young adults with lesions predominating on the neck, the shoulders and the upper trunk.


Four children were seen for flat skin lesions which were either initially or secondarily erythematous. The lesions were observed at birth or within the first weeks of life. In all 4 cases, the lesions progressed by infiltration, leading to sclerous plaques within a few weeks. The hip area was involved in case n(o) 2 and the thigh in the other cases. Pathology reported tufted angioma. A repeated biopsy 4 years after the first biopsy demonstrated the progressive nature of the fibrosis in case n(o) 2. Magnetic resonance imaging, performed in 3 of the 4 cases, demonstrated deep penetration of the vascular proliferation. The lesions were in contact with bony structures in case n(o) 2, reached the hypodermis in case n(o) 3 and infiltrated between the adducter muscles in case n(o) 4.


Among tufted angiomas, there is a clinical variant characterized by very early discovery (congenital or within the first months of life), preferential localization on the lower limbs and progression to sclerosis. Although non-specific, hypersudation and lanuginous hypertrichosis are also highly suggestive signs. The main clinical and histological differential diagnosis is angio-eccrine hamartoma and, to a lesser degree, Kaposi hemangioendothelioma which does not predominate on the lower limbs. This particular clinical presentation of tufted angioma should lead to wide and sufficiently deep biopsy to allow precise diagnosis prior to initiating therapy. The possibility of spontaneous involution would allow abstention with regular surveillance to detect reactivation and progression or functional impairment. Such unfavorable progression has lead certain authors to propose high-dose systemic corticosteroid therapy or alpha-interferon.

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