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Hemangiomas in infants and children. An algorithm for intervention.

Considerable confusion exists with the diagnosis and management of vascular birthmarks. For this article we reviewed charts for the diagnosis and recommended management of 208 new patients with vascular birthmarks presenting to the Albany Medical Center Vascular Malformation Clinic, Albany, NY, over a 26-month period from October 1995 through December 1997. Based on our patient population, data available, and the current literature, we concluded that an early evaluation and an accurate diagnosis in infants with a vascular birthmark are important. Furthermore, intervention by way of systemic steroids, laser therapy, or surgical debulking is appropriate and safe in a select group of patients presenting with a proliferating hemangioma and in patients with an involuting but disfiguring hemangioma. Also in this article we present an algorithm to assist the clinician with the management of the pediatric patient with a diagnosis of a hemangioma.

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