Diagnosis of hemangioma birthmarks

The diagnosis of strawberry birthmarks is primarily done through clinical examination and questioning by the physician or pediatric dermatologist. It is based on the appearance and evolution of the lesion. The criterion of time is an important element in the diagnosis of hemangioma.

  • Early diagnosis is important for the treatment to take place as quickly as possible.
  • In the majority of cases, no additional examination is needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Additional examinations may be considered in certain circumstances:

For deep hemangioma or similar types, a Doppler ultrasound may sometimes be necessary to confirm the diagnosis in the case of doubt with a related disease.

  • Medical imaging techniques (MRI) may be considered to define the extent of an infantile hemangioma and its possible location in the internal organs (the liver for example).
  • In exceptional circumstances, a biopsy may be considered to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Infantile hemangiomas do not have a “preferred” location and their size varies considerably. They can be found all over the body. ​
Important hemangioma statistics
  • 3%–10% of infants under the age of 1 may develop one or more infantile hemangiomas.
  • There are 3 characteristic phases of evolution: proliferation – stabilization – regression (+/- sequelae).
  • 88% of infantile hemangiomas are not serious and do not require a referral to a specialist, at an early stage, for appropriate treatment.
Treatment & diagnosis of hemangiomas
  • Only health care professionals can decide weather or not an infantile hemangioma needs to be treated.
  • Just 12% of infantile hemangiomas are significantly complex and require a referral to a specialist, at an early stage, for treatment.

Complications and associated risks of hemangiomas

Depending on their size, location, and evolution, some infantile hemangiomas can lead to the following conditions.

Consulting a doctor about hemangiomas

  • If you suspect that your baby has an infantile hemangioma, talk to your Health Care Professional as soon as possible. A referral to a specialist (dermatologist, pediatric-dermatologist, etc.) may be considered. The time factor is an important aspect in treating infantile hemangiomas.
  • Ask your health care professional about the nearest center where your baby could be seen by a specialist.
  • If a diagnosis is confirmed, treatment may be suggested to you.

Sources

  • I. Dreyfus, A. Maza, J. Mazereeuw-Hautier. Quoi de neuf dans les hémangiomes infantiles? (What’s new about infantile hemangiomas?). Arch Pediatr 2013; 20 (7) : 809–16.
  • Antaya RJ. Infantile hemangioma. 2007;1-20.
  • Birthmarks and vascular anomalies center infantile hemangiomas. University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine Web site. Department of Dermatology. Accessed January 17, 2013. Visit website »