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March 1960

Giant Vascular Tumors and Thrombocytopenia

Author Affiliations

Galveston, Texas

From the Departments of Dermatology and Pediatrics, The University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals (Dr. J. Fred Mullins, Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dr. Arild E. Hansen, Chairman, Department of Pediatrics).

AMA Arch Derm. 1960;81(3):432-437. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.03730030090015

Introduction  A relatively frequent entity to be found in the pediatric literature is the appearance of thrombocytopenia in patients with large vascular tumors. Since the first case reported by Kassabach and Merritt6 in 1940, 18 additional cases have appeared in the English literature. Early writers felt the association to be purely coincidental. However, with the added frequency of such reported cases, the more recent authors have theorized the association to be actual rather than coincidental. The syndrome in its entirety poses the complex clinical picture of a patient with a giant vascular tumor associated with varied manifestations of platelet deficiency, including massive hemorrhage into the tumor itself. It will be the purpose of this study to review the examples of this syndrome found in the English literature and to report two additional cases.

Review of the Literature  Table 1 summarizes the previously reported 19 cases. Sixteen of these cases

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