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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2012 June;147(3):321-4


language: English

A preterm infant with benign neonatal hemangiomatosis and persistent patent ductus arteriosus: a curious comorbidity

Lembo S., Balato A., Raimondo A., Donofrio P., Lembo C., Balato N.

Department of Dermatology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy


A female infant had been delivered prematurely at 33 weeks to a gravida 1, para 0, 32-year-old mother following normal spontaneous vaginal delivery. Because of persistent patent ductus arteriosus the new born underwent surgery after 30 days. Four months later, when the infant arrived at our observation, approximately 13 red, nodular hemangiomas ranging from 0.5 to 30 mm in diameter were scattered over the scalp, trunk, abdomen, and extremities. Laboratory and instrumental tests investigating visceral involvement were all negative. Our diagnosis was of benign neonatal hemangiomatosis. Benign neonatal hemangiomatosis is a condition with multiple congenital hemangiomas limited to the skin. The incidence in the newborn population is between 1.0% and 4% with females 4 times more affected than males. Solitary hemangiomas occur more frequently in premature neonates with a reported incidence, inversely proportional to birth weight. Although the exact mechanism for hemangioma development remains unknown, vascular growth factors seem to play a role in the pathogenesis. Proliferation most likely results from an imbalance between positive and negative angiogenic factors expressed by the hemangioma and adjacent normal tissue. Patency of the ductus arteriosus is a common complication of preterm birth. During the immediate postpartum period, a loss of vasodilatory stimuli and activation of intrinsic contractile mechanisms facilitates ductus lumen occlusion. The imbalance of these forces, linked to premature birth, interrupts the normal maturation process, leaving the immature ductus patent. Our case is the first one of benign neonatal hemangiomatosis and patency ductus arteriosus described.

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