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Clinical spectrum of tufted angiomas in childhood: a report of 13 cases and a review of the literature.

BACKGROUND: Tufted angioma (TA) is a rare benign vascular tumor that mostly appears during infancy or early childhood. Histologic tufts of capillaries infiltrating the whole dermis in a "cannonball" distribution pattern associated with dilated lymphatic vessels are characteristic of the disease and confirm the diagnosis. Few case series of TA have been published, and the morphologic structure and evolution of TA seem to vary.

OBSERVATIONS: We describe the largest series to date of childhood TA, comprising 13 cases. All children developed lesions within the first year of life; 7 cases were congenital. We found a clear male predominance (9 of 13 children). Presentation was a nascent or florid tumor, usually a dusky red to violaceous plaque, that was indurated, firm, and sometimes associated with hyperhidrosis or hypertrichosis. Locations of the lesions included limbs, abdomen, and genitalia. Five children had spontaneous regression, 5 children had Kasabach-Merritt syndrome, and 1 child had a lesion that stabilized. Two children with painful TA had chronic coagulopathy without thrombocytopenia that was controlled by ticlopidine hydrochloride and aspirin.

CONCLUSIONS: The following 3 clinical patterns could be distinguished: TA without complications, TA complicated by Kasabach-Merritt syndrome, and TA without thrombocytopenia but with chronic coagulopathy. To our knowledge, this study is the first to describe the third pattern. Because of the aggressive nature of Kasabach-Merritt syndrome, it is essential to obtain a complete blood cell count when evaluating a child with TA.

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