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Intramuscular hemangioma of the upper extremity in infants and children.

PURPOSE: Intramuscular hemangiomas (IMHs) are benign tumors comprising just 0.8% of all hemangiomas and are extremely rare in the upper limbs. These tumors can pose diagnostic as well as therapeutic challenges for orthopaedic surgeons, especially in younger children. We reviewed cases of IMH of the upper extremity in infants and children from our institute.

METHODS: Six consecutive patients underwent surgical treatment for IMH in our hospital. There were 4 girls and 2 boys. Long-standing pain and swelling were common symptoms except in a 1-year-old boy. Tumors were evaluated by radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and angiography.

RESULTS: After a mean follow-up of 42 months, all patients except one were free of pain and without tumor recurrence or functional impairment. Minimal symptoms remained in a 6-year-old boy who underwent biopsy only.

CONCLUSION: Magnetic resonance imaging is the most useful evaluation for IMH because it not only delineates the extent of tumor but also reveals characteristic structures. For young children with IMH, wide excision is the treatment of choice to prevent local recurrence, but every patient should be treated individually after evaluating the patient's age, tumor location and invasion, and cosmetic considerations.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study-level III.

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