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Hemangioma Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

If your child experiences any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to hemangioma. These symptoms may be caused by other, more or less serious health conditions. Symptoms include:

  • A red "strawberry" or purple bump on the skin, that may continue to grow and spread (sign of a superficial hemangioma)
  • A bluish swelling under the skin (sign of a deep hemangioma)

The vast majority of hemangiomas are benign and resolve on their own. A large portion of the lesion typically disappears by age five with the vast majority gone by puberty. A small minority, however, may lead to complications. Large and/or rapidly growing hemangiomas may lead to ulceration, scarring, and disfigurement.

Depending on their location, some hemangiomas may interfere with the growth and function of structures nearby (eg, eyes or airway), or may be associated with additional hemangiomas or other problems affecting internal organs. Hemangiomas of the face may be associated with abnormalities of the blood vessels of the eye or brain. Your physician may wish to do an MRI or other study to determine if such changes are present.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Most cases of superficial hemangiomas are obvious on inspection. If there is any question of the diagnosis, particularly for deep hemangiomas, your doctor may recommend testing. Tests may include:

  • CT scan —an x-ray test that uses computers to create detailed images of a deep hemangioma, surrounding tissues and other organs that may be affected
  • MRI —a test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of other internal organs that may be affected
  • Angiography —the use of a dye injected into a vein along with the help of x-rays, CT scan, or MRI to identify other hemangiomas internally

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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