Introduction: The association of external capillary hemangiomas with intracranial malformations (vascular or nonvascular) was first described by Pascual-Castroviejo in 1978. The commonest anomalies found included: Dandy-Walker syndrome, cerebellar hypoplasia, arterial angiomas and alterations in the origin or distribution of the main cerebral arteries. In 1996 the same author named it the 'hemangiovascular complex syndrome'. The syndrome association is very similar, perhaps even identical, to that recently described in the English literature under the heading of PHACE.
Clinical cases: We describe two new cases of facial hemangioma, Dandy-Walker type posterior fossa malformation and hypoplasia of the carotid-vertebral trunk ipsilateral to the facial hemangioma. The first patient, a three year old girl had needed a ventriculo-peritoneal shunt for hydrocephalus secondary to a Dandy-Walker malformation. During the third month she had severe symptoms of laryngeal obstruction due to the angiomatous lesion and was satisfactorily treated with corticosteroids. At the present time her psychomotor development seems normal on neurological examination and evaluation. The second patient, a thirteen year old boy, besides showing the characteristic features of this syndrome also had attention-deficit hyperactivity and clumsy movements. In both cases the facial hemangioma was present at birth and gradually became smaller although it did not disappear completely.
Conclusion: It is important to know about this neurocutaneous syndrome to avoid confusion with similar conditions such as the Sturge-Weber syndrome, so as to carry out suitable clinical investigations: cerebral magnetic resonance, angio-resonance of the intracranial vessels and supra-aortic trunks, arteriography, echocardiography and ophthalmological assessment and to prevent signs of upper respiratory tract obstruction which may be very serious.