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February 1991

Capillary Hemangiomas and Treatment with the Flash Lamp-Pumped Pulsed Dye Laser

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, New York (NY) University Medical Center.

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(2):202-205. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680020070007

• Strawberry, or capillary, hemangiomas are common vascular neoplasms, with an incidence of approximately 2.6% in neonates. They usually develop in the first few weeks of life, so that between 1 month and 1 year the incidence rises to between 8.7% and 10.1%. These lesions may grow quite large in the first year of life, and they may ulcerate or obstruct a vital organ or function. The great majority will spontaneously regress after the first year of life. Parents are often alarmed at the sight of these hemangiomas and need reassurance that the great majority will regress spontaneously. Treatments such as cryosurgery, irradiation, radium instillation, corticosteroid therapy, or surgical excision are often ineffective or cause significant morbidity. We describe 10 children with capillary hemangiomas treated with the flash lamp—pumped pulsed dye laser. The patients ranged in age from 7 weeks to 5.5 years at the beginning of laser therapy. The patients underwent 3.1 ± 1 (mean ± SD) laser treatments, with a mean regression of the lesions of 69.9% ±4.5%. All patients demonstrated some diminution in the size and color of their hemangiomas after the treatments, and there were no ill effects, such as ulceration, hemorrhage, infection, or scarring. There was no evidence of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. Pulsed dye laser therapy should be considered as an option in the treatment of capillary hemangiomas, preferably prior to their full evolution. It is also a useful therapeutic approach in those hemangiomas that are slow to regress in older children.

(Arch Dermatol. 1991;127:202-205)

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