New Report Helps Physicians Treat Infantile Hemangiomas

Kasey Fuqua - (757) 668-7153

HAMPTON ROADS, Va.— A new report on the treatment of common childhood birthmarks is helping pediatricians and primary care providers better care for children. 

“It’s not possible for primary care providers to be experts on all the medical conditions they see,” says the report’s lead author Dr. David Darrow, pediatric otolaryngologist with EVMS Pediatric Otolaryngology at CHKD. “We created this report with the American Academy of Pediatrics to help physicians make well-informed clinical decisions regarding infantile hemangiomas.”

Infantile hemangiomas (IHs) are birthmarks, also known as a “strawberry marks,” that are benign and often shrink and disappear on their own as the child grows. However, some IHs can lead to visual impairment, hearing impairment, facial deformities, airway obstruction, hypothyroidism or congestive heart failure.

Because of the potential for serious complications, it is vital for primary care providers to know which patients need to see specialists for further evaluation and treatment. The new report, based on the most recent research and knowledge available, gives primary care providers the information they need to make referral decisions. The report emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and recognition of possible complications due to IHs.

“Patients who may be at risk of complications need to see a multidisciplinary team of specialists, such as the one we have at CHKD, for the best outcomes,” Dr. Darrow says. “Based on the child’s evaluation and information in the report, specialists can determine which treatment plan will have the greatest benefit for the child.”

Dr. Darrow says treatments may include prescription medications given orally or topically, laser therapy or surgery.

The new report on the diagnosis and management of IHs resulted from collaboration between many different pediatric specialists, including otolaryngologists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, general surgeons, radiologists and pathologists. Physicians at more than 10 children’s hospitals including CHKD, Boston Children’s Hospital; Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago; Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City; Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital systematically reviewed the literature on IHs and contributed to the report.

Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout Eastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina.

To reach CHKD’s multidisciplinary birthmark program, please call 757-668-7793.