Most infantile hemangiomas are not serious and require little or no treatment.

However, a small group of children with facial hemangiomas may have other associated issues.

PHACE syndrome may be suspected in infants with large hemangiomas on the face, head, and/or neck.

What Does PHACE Stand For?

PHACE syndrome is an association between large infantile hemangiomas of the face, head and/or neck and developmental defects of the eyes, heart, major arteries and brain. The cause of PHACE syndrome is unknown.

P = Posterior fossa (refers to possible abnormal structures in the brain, particularly the cerebellum)
H = Hemangioma
A = Arterial (refers to possible abnormal arteries in the brain)
C = Cardiac (refers to possible heart abnormalities usually involving the great vessels)
E = Eyes (refers to possible eye abnormalities)

Infants diagnosed with PHACE syndrome may have only one or two of these abnormalities, in addition to the hemangioma. There can also be abnormalities in the sternum (breastbone) or thyroid of the infant.