Distribution, clinical characteristics, and surgical treatment of lip infantile Hemangiomas

Min Jung O. Teresa, Catharina Scheuermann-Poley, Melin Tan, Milton Waner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE Infantile hemangiomas (IHs) are the most common tumors of infancy. OBJECTIVES To describe the patterns of occurrence of lip IHs and correlate these findings with patterns of anatomical distortion and predictable clinical outcomes and to describe the surgical management of these lesions. DESIGN A retrospective medical record review of patients diagnosed as having facial IH of the upper or lower lips during an 8-year period (January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2011). Using clinical photographs and patient records, we mapped the 360 IHs of 342 patients on a lip schematic. Each lesion was encoded with a number reflective of its location, and this number was shared by other lesions found at the same site. Frequencies of lesion characteristics, complicating functional and aesthetic factors, and airway obstruction were documented. The treatment course was noted. SETTING Tertiary care hospital and practice specializing in the care of congenital pediatric vascular anomalies of the head and neck. PARTICIPANTS Three hundred forty-two patients with 360 IHs. RESULTS A total of 1916 IHs were diagnosed. Of these, lip IHs were found in 342 patients. We reviewed those patients' medical records. Of the lesions, 59.2% were focal and 40.8% were segmental. A nonrandom distribution of lip IHs was found. The most common focal lesion occurred at the lower lip (98 of 213 lesions [46.0%]). The most common segmental lesion involved the mandibular segment (75 of 147 [51.0%]). Of the 75 patients, 30 (40.0%) had airway involvement. The most common anatomical distortions of the lip involved the vermiliocutaneous junction in 216 (61.5%). Horizontal and vertical lengthening of the lip was evident in 28.7% and 31.0% of patients, respectively. Ulceration and scarring were common findings in 137 patients overall (38.1%), with segmental mandibular IHs associated with the highest percentage (46 of 137 [33.6%]), followed by focal IHs of the lower lip (35 of 137 [25.5%]). Using previously described surgical procedures, we developed a problem-oriented solution for each of these zones. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The nonrandom distribution of facial hemangiomas has been documented with focal and segmental patterns of growth. Distinct anatomical patterns of occurrence for lip IHs are described. The distribution seems to be related to the embryologic development of the upper and lower lips. These anatomical patterns allow for the prediction of anatomical location, structural distortion, and possible clinical outcomes. This information is relevant when planning medical and surgical treatment for these children. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE NA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-304
Number of pages13
JournalJAMA Facial Plastic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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