Medical, Surgical, and Wound Care Management of Ulcerated Infantile Hemangiomas: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Ulcerated infantile hemangiomas may present a therapeutic challenge, especially if there is concurrent hemorrhage or infection. The aim of this study was to systematically review the published evidence on the treatment of ulcerated hemangiomas, focusing on wound healing as the outcome of interest. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, SCOPUS, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Web of Science from inception to July 2016. Seventy-seven studies met our inclusion criteria. One study was a randomized controlled trial, 30 were observational studies, and 46 were case reports or case series. There is significant heterogeneity among the methods used. We reviewed 1239 patients in total. Of the 197 treated with oral propranolol, 191 (97.0%) achieved complete ulcer healing. Thirty-one patients failed corticosteroid therapy (oral, intralesional, or topical) and were subsequently successfully treated with other therapies. Surgical resections were typically performed for larger hemangiomas and those causing complications. None of the therapies discussed appear to offer significant advantages over others. Therefore, treatment decisions should be individualized based on location of disease, extent, symptoms, feasibility, cost, and parental preference.

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