Most hemangiomas of infancy are not serious and require little or no treatment. However, a small group of children with facial hemangiomas can have other problems. PHACE syndrome may be suspected in infants with large hemangiomas on the face, head, and/or neck.
PHACE stands for:
P = posterior fossa. This refers to possible abnormal structures in the brain, especially the cerebellum
H = hemangioma
A = arterial. This refers to possible abnormal arteries in the brain
C = cardiac. This refers to possible heart abnormalities
E = eyes. This refers to possible eye abnormalities
There can also be abnormalities in the sternum (breastbone) or thyroid of the infant.
Infants diagnosed with PHACE syndrome may only have one or two of these abnormalities.
We do not know what causes PHACE syndrome. We do know it is:
- not related to drugs or medications taken during pregnancy
- not related to being exposed to things in the environment during pregnancy