Clinical spectrum and risk of PHACE syndrome in cutaneous and airway hemangiomas

Anita N. Haggstrom, Sarah Skillman, Maria C. Garzon, Beth A. Drolet, Kristen Holland, Bruce Matt, Catherine McCuaig, Denise W. Metry, Kimberly Morel, Julie Powell, Ilona J. Frieden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the clinical presentation and risk of PHACE syndrome in infants with large facial hemangiomas and concomitant airway hemangiomas. Design: The study involved a case series of infants with cutaneous hemangiomas and airway hemangiomas extracted from a prospective multicenter cohort study. Data regarding clinical features, diagnosis, treatment, and clinical course were obtained from medical charts and physician intake forms. All patients were evaluated for PHACE syndrome using a standardized protocol. Setting: Six academic pediatric dermatology clinics. Patients: The study included 17 patients younger than 1 year who were diagnosed as having large (>22 cm2) facial hemangiomas and airway hemangiomas. Results: Thirteen patients (76%) had hemangiomas in the bilateral mandibular distribution. Other observed facial patterns included limited involvement of the lip and chin, unilateral reticular frontotemporal and preauricular hemangiomas, and large unilateral hemifacial hemangiomas. Fourteen patients (82%) had symptomatic airway involvement. All symptomatic patients had subglottic airway hemangiomas. The airway hemangioma was circumferential in 10 patients (58%) and more focal in distribution in 7 patients (42%). All patients were treated with oral prednisolone. Eleven patients required additional multimodal therapy. Eight patients (47%) met the criteria for PHACE syndrome. Conclusions: Airway hemangiomas represent a potentially fatal complication of infantile hemangiomas. Our data highlight cutaneous presentations in patients with subglottic hemangiomas and large (>22 cm2) cutaneous hemangiomas. PHACE syndrome was detected in 8 such patients (47%) in our series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-687
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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    Haggstrom, A. N., Skillman, S., Garzon, M. C., Drolet, B. A., Holland, K., Matt, B., McCuaig, C., Metry, D. W., Morel, K., Powell, J., & Frieden, I. J. (2011). Clinical spectrum and risk of PHACE syndrome in cutaneous and airway hemangiomas. Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 137(7), 680-687.