Multicenter retrospective review of pulsed dye laser in nonulcerated infantile hemangioma


We sought to describe the experience among members of the Hemangioma Investigator Group with pulsed dye laser (PDL) in the treatment of nonulcerated infantile hemangioma (IH) in pediatric patients in the pre- and post-beta-blocker era.


A multicenter retrospective cohort study was conducted in patients with nonulcerated IH treated with laser therapy. Patient demographics, IH characteristics, indications for/timing of laser therapy, as well as laser parameters were collected. Responses to laser therapy were evaluated using a visual analog scale (VAS).


One hundred and seventeen patients with IH were treated with PDL. 18/117 (15.4%) had early intervention (defined as <12?months of life), and 99/117 (84.6%) had late intervention (?12?months of life). In the late intervention group, 73.7% (73/99) had additional medical management of their IH. The mean age at PDL initiation for the late intervention group was 46.7?±?35.3 months of life (range 12–172?months) with total number of treatments to maximal clearing of 4.2?±?2.8 (range 1–17). Those who received propranolol prior to PDL received fewer sessions (1.1 fewer sessions, approaching significance [p = .056]).     On the VAS, there was a mean 85% overall improvement compared to baseline (range 18%–100%), with most improvement noted in erythema and/or telangiectasias. The incidence of adverse effects was 6/99 (6.1%).


PDL is a useful tool in the treatment of IH, with notable improvement of telangiectasia and erythema and low risk of complications.   PDL is often introduced after the maximal proliferative phase.