BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Infantile hemangiomas (IHs) involving the conjunctiva are only anecdotally reported in the literature and little is known about their clinical course. In a retrospective case series we aimed to better delineate the clinical presentation, complications, and response to treatment of this uncommon subtype of IH. A classification of conjunctival IH is proposed.
METHODS: Medical charts at three academic pediatric dermatology institutions were retrospectively analyzed. Data were collected on the clinical characteristics, ophthalmologic findings, treatments, and outcomes of 22 individuals with conjunctival IH.
RESULTS: Growth characteristics of conjunctival IH closely mirrored those of their cutaneous counterparts. Ophthalmologic abnormalities were associated with the IH in six individuals (27%); in three, they were considered severe. Seventeen subjects (77%) required treatment, most commonly because of risk of ocular compromise. All treated individuals responded favorably to topical timolol or systemic propranolol.
CONCLUSION: Conjunctival IH have clinical characteristics similar to those of cutaneous IH and respond readily to beta-blocker treatment. Ocular complications may occur in a minority of individuals receiving treatment.