Clinical course of pediatric large vascular anomalies located in the extremities

Turk Arch Pediatr. 2021 May 1;56(3):213-218. doi: 10.5152/TurkArchPediatr.2021.20089. eCollection 2021.


Objective: Difficulties encountered in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular anomalies located in the extremities of the children. The most common vascular lesions are hemangiomas and venous malformations. The complex malformations, such as, Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome are much less commonly encountered lesions. Treatment of vascular malformations are variable based on the etiology of the lesion and clinical presentation. In this study, we aimed to share our experience on the clinical features of vascular lesions in the extremities of the children.

Material and methods: The demographic, clinical and prognostic features of 330 children with vascular anomalies followed at IUC, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology were retrospectively reviewed. Fifty-one patients with lesions >5 cm in diameter were included into the study. The diagnosis, age, sex, history of prematurity, lesion type and location, imaging and biopsy findings, complications, details of treatment, and follow-up were evaluated.

Results: Twenty-nine (57%) of patients were female and 22 (43%) were male. The female to male ratio was 1.3:1. The median age at admission was 15 months (10 days-180 months). Eight patients (16%) had a history of premature birth. Thirty-one patients (61%) had lesions since birth, eight lesions (8%) appeared in the first month of life and 6 (12%) occurred after 1 year of age. Sixteen of the patients (31%) had hemangioma, 11 (22%) had lymphangioma, 19 (37%) had venous malformation and 5 (10%) were diagnosed as Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome. The lesions were in the upper extremity in 21 patients (41%), in the lower extremity in 27 patients (53%), and both lower and upper extremities were affected in 3 patients (6%). Of all patients, six had intramuscular and two had intraarticular lesions. The diagnosis was made on clinical grounds in most of the cases. In 22 children Magnetic Resonance Imaging was performed for differential diagnosis and to demonstrate the infrastructure of the lesion and the extent of local infiltration. Histopathologic examination by biopsy was done in four patients. Complications developed in 19 patients as follows: Disseminated intravascular coagulation in 6, bleeding in 4, thrombosis in 3, and soft tissue infection in 6. Twenty-one patients were not given any treatment. Medical treatments were propranolol in 14 patients, sirolimus in 4 patients, propranolol and sirolimus in 5 patients. Intralesional bleomycin injection was performed in 3 children.

Conclusion: The diagnosis, classification and treatment of extremity located vascular malformations in children are complex. Treatment strategy should be defined as in accordance with a combination of the type of the vascular malformation, the age of the patient and the clinical picture.

Keywords: Children; extremity; hemangioma; vascular malformation.