The many faces of PHACE syndrome

J Pediatr. 2001 Jul;139(1):117-23. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2001.114880.


Objectives: PHACE is an acronym coined to describe a neurocutaneous syndrome encompassing the following features: posterior fossa brain malformations, large facial hemangiomas, arterial anomalies, cardiac anomalies and aortic coarctation, and eye abnormalities. We evaluated the spectrum of disease and significance of potential underlying brain anomalies among affected children.

Study design: The records of 14 patients with PHACE syndrome, evaluated between 1995 and 2000, were retrospectively reviewed. A literature review revealed 116 additional cases.

Results: PHACE syndrome represents a spectrum of anomalies, because most affected children have only one extracutaneous manifestation. The syndrome is associated with a high incidence of arterial and structural central nervous system anomalies with secondary neurologic sequelae. The potential for progressive neurovascular disease also exists among those patients with anomalous vasculature.

Conclusion: PHACE syndrome should be considered in any infant presenting with a large, segmental, plaque-type facial hemangioma. Children at risk should receive careful ophthalmologic, cardiac, and neurologic assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis*
  • Brain / abnormalities
  • Facial Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neurocutaneous Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Retrospective Studies