Congenital hemangiomas and infantile hemangioma: missing links

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 Jun;50(6):875-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2003.10.670.


Rapid postnatal growth and slow involution in childhood characterize the common infantile hemangioma. There are other rare vascular tumors that present fully grown at birth and behave quite differently, as designated by the acronyms: rapidly involuting congenital hemangioma (RICH) and noninvoluting congenital hemangioma (NICH). RICH and NICH have similarities in appearance, location, size, equal sex ratio, and both have overlapping radiologic and histologic features with infantile hemangioma. However, neither type of congenital tumor immunostains for glucose transporter-1 protein, a marker of infantile hemangioma. This raises the question of whether these congenital vascular lesions are variations in a spectrum of hemangioma or are entirely different tumors. We describe two groups of patients that suggest a linkage between postnatal and congenital vascular tumors: Link I (n=5), children who had either RICH or NICH coexisting with infantile hemangioma, and Link II (n=10), children initially diagnosed as having RICH, but regression was incomplete and the residuum was that of NICH. We conclude that these infants exhibit "missing links" between the rare RICH and NICH, and the common infantile hemangioma.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hemangioma / congenital*
  • Hemangioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Vascular Neoplasms / congenital*
  • Vascular Neoplasms / pathology*