Current treatment of parotid hemangiomas

Laryngoscope. 2011 Aug;121(8):1642-50. doi: 10.1002/lary.21358. Epub 2011 Jul 15.


Objectives/hypothesis: Parotid hemangiomas are the most common salivary gland tumors in children. Their treatment has posed a challenge because of the lesions' expansive growth, resistance to treatment, and relationship with the facial nerve. Various treatment modalities have been attempted, and promising results have been achieved with surgical resection alone or in conjunction with endovascular sclerotherapy. Recently, bleomycin and oral propranolol have been introduced, and the results thus far are promising. Here we elucidate the treatment options and propose a treatment algorithm for parotid hemangiomas.

Study design: Retrospective chart review.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients from 2004 to 2009 with hemangiomas involving the parotid gland. We included 56 patients and relevant parameters.

Results: Seventy percent of patients were female. The female-to-male ratio was 2.3 to 1. Thirty-nine percent had unilateral parotid hemangiomas, 12.5% had cutaneous segmental hemangiomas. All 22 patients who underwent systemic steroid therapy responded initially, but 68% of these rebounded after cessation of therapy. Sixteen patients (29%) underwent surgery with excellent results (facial symmetry, restoration of contour, preserved facial nerve function). Seven (44%) patients received sclerotherapy 24 to 48 hours before surgery, and five (8%) received endovascular sclerotherapy alone. Ten patients were treated medically with oral propranolol. Eight of 10 had significant shrinkage of the lesion within the first month of treatment. There were no reported side effects.

Conclusions: Multiple treatment regimens have been used to successfully treat parotid hemangiomas. Although propranolol is a recent addition, it seems most promising. Further evaluation is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hemangioma / pathology
  • Hemangioma / surgery
  • Hemangioma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laser Therapy
  • Male
  • Parotid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Parotid Neoplasms / surgery
  • Parotid Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Sclerotherapy