Bleomycin sclerotherapy for eyelid venous malformations as an alternative to surgery or laser therapy

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Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the clinical outcome of patients with venous malformation (VM) involving the eyelid treated with bleomycin sclerotherapy.

Methods

A retrospective review was performed of 18 consecutive patients with VM involving the eyelid who underwent bleomycin sclerotherapy. Patients’ clinical presentation, details of sclerotherapy, and post-sclerotherapy resolution of the lesion as well as any procedure-related complications were evaluated.

Results

Twelve women and six men of mean age 34.3±20.4 years underwent sclerotherapy with bleomycin. Chief complaints were cosmetic disfigurations with or without hemifacial deformity (n=2), pain in engorgement area (n=2), pain and swelling from venous thrombosis (n=2), swelling or engorgement obstructing their eyesight (n=2), or eyelid dysfunction (n=1). The lesions were only in the eyelid in three patients; otherwise they were extended out of the eyelid either superiorly (n=3), laterally (n=8), inferiorly (n=8), and/or posteriorly to the orbit (n=8) to various extents. Conjunctival involvement was present in 13 patients. 14 patients had received prior treatments including surgery, laser therapy, or non-bleomycin sclerotherapy. With an average three sessions of bleomycin sclerotherapy (average total dose 34.5 mg), more than 80% shrinkage was observed in seven patients (38.9%), 50-80% shrinkage in eight patients (44.4%), and 30-50% shrinkage in two patients (11.1%). One patient had recurrence, which was successfully treated again with bleomycin. No procedure-related complications were noted.

Conclusions

The use of bleomycin appears to be a simple, safe, and effective treatment for venous malformations involving the eyelid, avoiding more elaborate and challenging surgical or laser interventions, and is even effective in full thickness lesions.

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