Rapidly involuting congenital haemangioma associated with transient thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy: a case series

Br J Dermatol. 2008 Jun;158(6):1363-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08546.x. Epub 2008 Apr 10.


Rapidly involuting congenital haemangioma (RICH) may present with thrombocytopenia, low fibrinogen and elevated fibrin degradation products and D-dimers. Such complications have rarely been reported. We wished to define the clinical characteristics of the thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy associated with RICH, to emphasize the transient nature of this haematological complication and to distinguish these abnormalities from true Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon (KMP). We present a case series of seven patients with large RICH who presented with thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy during the first week of life. Clinical and haematological characteristics were recorded retrospectively. Two of the patients were treated with embolization due to early signs of high-output cardiac failure; four patients received oral corticosteroids in the range of 2 mg kg(-1) daily; one patient did not receive any treatment in the neonatal period, although the tumour was excised at 6 months of age. Two patients with platelet counts lower than 10 x 10(9) L(-1) received a platelet transfusion. There were no bleeding complications and only one patient presented with petechiae. In all seven patients, platelet counts started to increase at > 2 weeks of age and the coagulopathy resolved. We conclude that RICH may present with thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy similar to mild KMP early in the neonatal period. However, in contrast to true KMP, these abnormal laboratory findings are self-limited and are usually not complicated by bleeding problems.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / complications
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / congenital*
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / therapy
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / metabolism*
  • Hemangioma / complications
  • Hemangioma / congenital*
  • Hemangioma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Platelet Count
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Thrombocytopenia / congenital*
  • Thrombocytopenia / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fibrinogen