Vincristine for Successful Treatment of Steroid-Dependent Infantile Hemangiomas
Infantile hemangiomas (IHs) are common, although systemic therapy has been generally limited to circumstances of potential compromise of vital functions (airway, vision, feeding, or cardiac), risk of disfigurement, or bleeding. IHs have previously been shown to express high levels of type III deiodinase, which catabolizes active thyroid hormone, resulting in a state of severe hypothyroidism, termed “consumptive hypothyroidism.” We describe an infant with diffuse hepatic hemangiomas who developed consumptive hypothyroidism who was initially treated successfully with systemic glucocorticoids and β-blockers. Several efforts to wean her medications were unsuccessful. She subsequently developed severe growth restriction and treatment alternatives were sought. Although previously limited to treatment of life-threatening hemangiomas, a trial of vincristine was initiated. She was ultimately weaned from all systemic therapies, with recovery of a normal growth trajectory. This case highlights broader indications for vincristine as a safe and effective systemic therapy for treatment of IHs. It also stresses the importance of close anthropometric monitoring of infants and toddlers receiving glucocorticoid therapy and intervention when growth compromise becomes evident.
- Accepted February 19, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics