Successful Treatment of Kasabach-Merritt Syndrome With Vincristine and Surgery: A Case Report and Review of Literature

Cases J. 2008 May 23;1(1):9. doi: 10.1186/1757-1626-1-9.


Introduction: Haemangiomas are vascular lesions resulting from abnormal proliferation of blood vessels. They are the most common pediatric neoplasm. Kasabach-Merritt syndrome is a rare type of vascular lesion with peculiar characteristics. The diagnosis is based upon three basic findings; enlarging haemangioma, thrombocytopenia and consumption coagulopathy.

Case presentation: A 5 month old boy was admitted to the Pediatrics department for the management of an abdominal wall mass. He was the first child of consanguineous parents, born in a private hospital following uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery. At birth a bluish birth mark 5 cm x 5 cm was noted below the umbilicus. Over the next five months, this birth mark increased in size and evolved into a swelling. As a result, the patient was admitted to Maternal and Child Health (MCH) unit for the management of this swelling.The clinical findings and imagining studies followed by laboratory investigations strongly suggested the diagnosis of Kasabach-Merritt syndrome.Vincristine was initiated after a trial of corticosteroids when the platelet count was 6000/cmm. One week after the start of vincristine the size of the lesion started to decrease. At the end of 6th week the lesion size decreased to half and the platelet count increased to 49,000/cmm. Vincristine was continued for another 2 weeks, no further improvement in lesion size or platelet count was observed. Vincristine was discontinued and the patient was shifted to the paediatric surgery department. A fresh platelet transfusion was given and the haemangioma was excised completely.The histopathological examination of the excised mass revealed a caverno-capillary haemangioma with infiltration into skeletal muscles.

Conclusion: Six weeks treatment with vincristine in a dose of 0.5 mg/kg/week followed by surgical excision may be the best management in selected cases of Kasabach-Merritt syndrome.