JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Intralesional bleomycin injection treatment for vascular birthmarks: a 5-year experience at a single United Kingdom unit.

BACKGROUND: The authors present their experience using an established chemotherapeutic agent as a scarless treatment for vascular birthmarks. One hundred sixty-four of more than 600 patients seen in the authors' center received intralesional bleomycin injection over 5 years.

METHODS: Patient demographics, clinical response, treatment, and complication details were recorded prospectively. Respiratory surveillance was provided by adult and pediatric pulmonologists. Eighty-one venous malformations, 39 hemangiomas, 26 lymphatic malformations, 10 mixed malformations, two arteriovenous malformations, two cystic hygromas, two capillary malformations, and two angiokeratomas underwent intralesional bleomycin injection.

RESULTS: The authors observed that 45.7 percent of patients completed treatment in a mean of 3.8 sessions and mean duration of 107 days. Complete resolution occurred in 56.0 percent, with a 93.3 percent overall response rate, and 82.7 percent of lesions demonstrated complete response or significant improvement. Three patients developed transient skin hyperpigmentation. One patient each developed skin ulceration, blistering, infection, swelling, headache, bruising, and rash. One patient required intubation following treatment of a panfacial and thoracic lymphatic malformation. A full recovery ensued. No patients developed pulmonary fibrosis. One venous malformation recurred.

CONCLUSIONS: The authors' single-site multidisciplinary team has successfully treated complex and recurrent vascular anomalies with acceptable complication and recurrence profiles. These findings represent the authors' experience and provide a reference for the management of these challenging lesions.

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