Capillary hemangioma of the lids and orbit: an analysis of the clinical features and therapeutic results in 101 cases

Ophthalmology. 1979 May;86(5):760-92. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(79)35452-5.


The clinical records of 101 patients (biopsies done on 48) with capillary hemangiomas of the orbit, orbit and lids, and lids were analyzed. Lesions predominated in females and typically appeared at birth or within the first two months of life. The superior orbit and lids were definite sites of predilection. Telltale periocular cutaneous involvement occurred in one third of the cases. Pure proptosis caused by a deep orbital tumor without an anterior component was found in seven cases. Proptosis in general was mild, but in two cases was severe enough to cause corneal exposure. Findings suprortive of a diagnosis of an orbital or periorbital hemangioma include (1) change in tumor size on crying (46%); (2) a dark vascular coloration to the subcutaneous tissue (80%); and (3) the existence of nonperiocular strawberry marks (25). Diagnostic tests of most value were plain radiography, ultrasonography, computed axial tomography, and arteriography. The complication rate in the 50 patients followed up over five years was 80% (60% with amblyopia). Present treatment modalities do not appear to be achieving the desired goals of a good cosmetic and functional outcome. Radiotherapy and corticosteroids are both effective in individual cases, but many lesions are resistant to all forms of present treatment. Amblyopia therapy is difficult and often unsuccessful in these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exophthalmos / etiology
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis*
  • Hemangioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Hemangioma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Orbital Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Orbital Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbital Neoplasms / therapy
  • Radiography
  • Sex Factors