Abortive or minimal-growth hemangiomas: Immunohistochemical evidence that they represent true infantile hemangiomas

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Apr;58(4):685-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.08.007.


Background: Infantile hemangiomas have a characteristic natural history of rapid proliferation in the first weeks of life followed by spontaneous involution. At birth, they may be present as a precursor lesion. Sometimes one may see precursor lesions that never undergo a growth phase or that undergo minimal growth. It is unclear the exact nature of these precursor-like lesions.

Objective: We sought to describe the morphology and histopathology of these precursor-like lesions.

Methods: We describe 4 patients with macules resembling precursor lesions of hemangiomas that did not show proliferation phase or minimal growth. The histopathologic and immunohistochemical study with glucose transporter-1 was performed in all of these cases.

Results: The skin biopsy specimen showed superficial ectatic vessels that reacted with anti-glucose transporter-1 antibodies. All skin biopsy specimens exhibited capillary lobules in papillary dermis and, in two of them, in the reticular dermis and subcutis.

Limitations: This text is limited by the number of cases reported.

Conclusions: Precursor lesions of hemangioma that do not show proliferation phase or minimal growth represent, in the view of glucose transporter-1 immunoreactivity, true hemangiomas of infancy with an aborted or arrested growth cycle.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1 / immunology
  • Hemangioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Telangiectasis / pathology


  • Glucose Transporter Type 1