Safety and efficacy of foam sclerotherapy for treatment of low-flow vascular malformations in children.
OBJECTIVE: Congenital vascular malformations are a heterogeneous group of lesions with the potential to cause significant lifelong morbidity in children. Diagnosis and treatment of these lesions may be complex and require a multidisciplinary approach. Sclerotherapy is widely used for the treatment of low-flow vascular malformations (LFVMs) as an alternative to surgical resection in adults; however, limited data of its use in a pediatric setting are available. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of sclerotherapy for pediatric LFVMs. METHODS: In this retrospective study, we reviewed our multidisciplinary vascular malformations team database for all patients younger than 18 years treated for congenital vascular malformations from 2008 to 2017. Of these, patients with LFVM treated with foam sclerotherapy were included. Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging was used to select patients for sclerotherapy by the multidisciplinary team. Foam sclerotherapy was performed with either polidocanol or sodium tetradecyl sulfate. Patients' characteristics, including demographics, presenting symptoms, and anatomic location of malformation, were assessed. Outcomes included treatment response, number of procedures, and postprocedural complications. RESULTS: The 61 patients with 61 LFVMs included 27 boys (44.3%) and 34 girls (55.7%), with mean age of 10.3 years (standard deviation, ± 5.3 years). The cohort included 32 venous (52.5%), 16 lymphatic (26.2%), and 8 mixed venous and lymphatic (13.1%) malformations along with 5 (8.2%) associated with Klippel-Trénaunay syndrome. Primary indications for intervention included pain and swelling (n = 12 [19.6%]), pain alone (n = 23 [37.7%]), swelling alone (n = 15 [24.6%]), functional impairment (n = 8 [13.1%]), and bleeding (n = 3 [4.9%]). Anatomic distributions varied, with 13 head and neck (21.3%), 5 truncal (8.2%), 10 upper extremity (16.4%), 27 lower extremity (44.3%), and 6 diffuse (9.8%). Among the head and neck lesions, 8 (13.1%) extended to the face; and of the extremity lesions, 5 (8.2%) extended to the hand and 17 (27.9%) to the foot. Overall, sclerotherapy resulted in significant improvement or complete resolution of symptoms in 53 patients (86.9%). Complications were observed in seven patients (11.4%); six cases (9.8%) of superficial skin ulceration resolved without intervention, and one infection (1.6%) required antibiotics. No patients experienced adverse hemodynamic consequences or venous thromboembolism. CONCLUSIONS: This series of pediatric LFVMs, the largest of its kind to date, demonstrates that sclerotherapy with foam-based agents effectively reduces symptoms with an acceptable rate of complications. Further study is needed to determine the optimal sclerosing agents for individual subsets of LFVMs in the pediatric population.
Markovic, JN; Nag, U; Shortell, CK
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