Use of Systemic Corticosteroids in Management of a Large Congenital Haemangioma of the Scalp


Address correspondence to Bridget C. Hackett, Department of Paediatric Dermatology, Our lady's Children's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. or e-mail:


Abstract:  Congenital haemangiomas are rare and are estimated to have a combined incidence of less than 3% of all infantile haemangiomas. They are fully grown at birth, having undergone their proliferative phase in utero (1). Congenital hemangiomas can present at birth or in some cases can be detected antenatally on imaging (2,3). In the majority of patients no therapeutic intervention is required. Congenital hemangiomas also differ from infantile hemangiomas by staining negatively with GLUT1 antibody. They fall into two major subtypes: rapidly involuting congenital hemangiomas (RICHs) and noninvoluting congenital hemangiomas (NICHs) (4,5). Here we describe a case of RICH detected antenatally on ultrasound imaging. This lesion caused significant complications in the postnatal period due to the bulk of the lesion and the presence of incipient ulceration with the risk of possible catastrophic hemorrhage. A therapeutic trial of oral corticosteroid was commenced in an effort to accelerate involution due to the significant risk associated with other possible treatment modalities such as embolization or surgical intervention.