Large Infantile Hemangioma on the Face: Let’s ‘PHACE’ It

Esther Burkink, Lieke van Delft, C.J.M. van der Vleuten, Ivo Nagtzaam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


Infantile hemangiomas (IH) are the most common benign (vascular) tumors in infancy but due to their natural self-limiting course do not necessarily need treatment; in case of ulceration, bleeding or potential deformity, treatment is necessary. Large segmental facial hemangiomas may be associated with PHACE syndrome.

Case presentation:
We present a case of a boy with a large segmental facial IH. Ulceration, size and location were indications for starting propranolol up to a dose of 3 mg/kg/day in three doses, eleven days after birth. Because of the location and distribution, PHACE syndrome had to be excluded: the patient was checked for possible brain, cardiac and vascular malformations and visual impairment. The IH improved. At the age of nine months, there were no adverse effects or IH progression.

Propranolol is a beta-blocker effective in treating IH. Its working mechanism has not been completely clarified. We provide a thorough description of our approach to the early propranolol treatment of this large segmental facial IH.

Complicated IH like the one described here can be treated safely and effectively with propranolol; very early treatment initiation is recommended to prevent the development of anatomic deformities. Our patient was treated with propranolol 3 mg/kg/day in three doses in order to prevent future disfigurement when it is located in a high-risk area like the face. Further research is needed to create a uniform approach and universal guideline for the treatment of IH with propranolol.
Original languageEnglish
Article number000184
JournalClinical Dermatology Open Access Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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