Infantile Hemangiomas of the Lip: Patterns, Outcomes, and Implications

Daniel A Yanes, Gregory D Pearson, Patricia M Witman
Pediatric Dermatology 2016, 33 (5): 511-7

BACKGROUND: Infantile hemangiomas of the lip are potentially problematic because of high visibility and risk of disfigurement and ulceration. This study examined sizes, patterns, and locations of lip hemangiomas, their prognostic value, and their implications in hemangioma pathogenesis.

METHODS: Records of 106 patients seen for lip hemangiomas from 2006 to 2013 at Nationwide Children's Hospital were reviewed. Localized hemangiomas were mapped to a location on the lip based on their focus. Size, location, and morphology were assessed with regard to outcome. Poor outcomes were considered to be marked anatomic deformity, scarring, functional complications, and ulceration.

RESULTS: Of 72 untreated hemangiomas with discernible outcomes, 92% of segmental lip hemangiomas were associated with poor outcomes, as opposed to 32% of localized hemangiomas (p < 0.001). Localized lip hemangiomas originated from six distinct locations. Localized untreated hemangiomas with poor outcomes were, on average, approximately 2.36 cm(2) larger (95% confidence interval 1.47, 3.25) than those that resolved favorably (p < 0.001); 52% of upper lip untreated hemangiomas and 6% of lower lip hemangiomas had poor outcomes (p = 0.001), and 61% of untreated localized hemangiomas involving the vermilion border and 25% of those that did not had poor outcomes (p = 0.01). Hemangiomas that received early medical or surgical intervention were less likely to have poor outcomes than untreated hemangiomas (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Localized lip hemangiomas occur in distinct locations on the lip that are not random and appear to reflect known models of facial development. Segmental morphology is associated with poor outcomes. In localized hemangiomas, the upper lip is associated with more problematic outcomes than the lower lip. Large size and involvement of the vermilion border are also valuable prognostic indicators associated with poor outcomes. Early intervention in lip hemangiomas is associated with better outcomes.

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