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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2002 December;137(6):421-6

language: Italian

Treatment of hemangiomas with systemic steroids in pediatric age. Clinical experience

Musumeci M. L., Pulvirenti N., Micali G.

Clinica Dermatologica Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania


Hemangiomas are benign vascular tumors frequently observed in pediatric age, characterized by 2 sequential phases of proliferation and involution. In most cases no therapy is necessary, but, when they are located in areas at risk for functional complications, a prompt treatment is required. A study on pediatric patients affected by hemangiomas at periorificial sites of the head was performed. The aim was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of systemic corticosteroids. During the period January-September 2001, 4 children (2M, 2F) (age range 3-5 months, mean age 4.25 months) with hemangiomas located on the upper right eyelid (2 cases), left lobe (1 case) and lower lip (1 case) were enrolled for treatment. After thorough clinical and instrumental investigations including: pediatric, otorhinolaryngoiatric and ophthalmology medical examinations, cutaneous echography and X-ray of the skull, all patients underwent therapy with oral prednisone (4 mg/kg/day for 4-6 weeks, then gradually tapered for a total period of 4 months). A complete response with total clinical resolution in the hemangiomas of the eyelids and lip, and reduction up to 70% in that of the ear, were observed, in the absence of major side effects. Follow-up to 3 and 6 months from the end of treatment showed no relapses in all patients. Personal experience along with the most recent data from the literature, show that systemic steroids represent an important and effective therapeutic option for periorificial hemangiomas.

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