Characteristic patterns of segmental infantile hemangiomas in Indian children: A descriptive study

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. Nov-Dec 2020;86(6):674-680. doi: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_289_18.


Background: Approximately 18% of infantile hemangiomas are segmental. These are larger than other infantile hemangiomas, associated with higher rate of complications and developmental anomalies, and often require treatment. They follow nonrandom patterns on the head and neck as well as extremities which are probably related to embryologic development.

Aims: Our study aimed to describe segmental patterns of infantile hemangiomas in Indian children, with associated anatomical abnormalities if any.

Methods: Over a 9-year period, 59 infants presenting with lesions classified as segmental infantile hemangiomas were evaluated and analyzed. Associated developmental anomalies were assessed and recorded. In addition, patterns of "indeterminate" infantile hemangiomas in another 43 patients were analyzed.

Results: There were 14 male and 45 female infants with an average birth weight of 2.7 ± 0.726 kg in our study; the average age at onset was 1 ± 1.25 months with most (50.8%) lesions localized to the head and neck area. Mapping of lesions showed that the most common facial segments involved were mandibular (33%) and maxillary (30%). However, additional repetitive patterns not previously described (such as an "inverted comma" pattern on the chest, bilateral neck involvement and unilateral labium involvement) were seen in our patients. Common local complications were ulceration (27%), amblyopia and nasal obstruction (3% each). Mapping of the additional 43 patients with indeterminate infantile hemangiomas also showed repetitive though incomplete patterns.

Limitations: Relatively small number of patients.

Conclusion: Segmental infantile hemangiomas present as large, distinctively patterned lesions, even on the trunk and genitalia. These patterns are probably based on embryologic developmental patterns. In addition, indeterminate lesions also showed distinctive repetitive patterns. Our study suggests that additional segments may need to be defined, particularly on the trunk and genital area.

Keywords: Genital; infantile hemangioma; trunk; vascular tumor.