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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Types of Vascular Anomalies: PHACE Syndrome

PHACES syndrome (Posterior fossa malformations, hemangiomas, arterial anomalies, cardiac defects, eye abnormalities, sternal cleft and supraumbilical raphe syndrome) is a rare condition that includes a constellation of these congenital anomalies. Individuals with PHACES always have at least one facial hemangioma, but may only experience two or three of the other associated abnormalities. The hemangioma is generally plaque-like (flattened and thickened area of tissue).

Vascular malformations associated with PHACE syndrome 
Individuals with PHACE syndrome often have large facial hemangiomas, as above, and may be found to have some or many of the associated anomalies. Children with plaque-like facial hemangiomas should be assessed by a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating vascular anomalies.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis and treatment of PHACE syndrome often requires several types of pediatric experts. The Vascular Anomalies Team at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital evaluates, treats and monitors the vascular malformations associated with the syndrome and works closely with other specialists involved in the patient's care.

Treatments for vascular malformations related to PHACE syndrome may include:

  • Surgical removal (excision) of the malformation
  • Laser therapy to shrink the affected blood vessels
  • Sclerotherapy: The injection of a solution directly in the vein, causing it to collapse and forcing the blood to reroute through healthier veins
  • Medical treatment for hemangiomas

About Our Program

The Vascular Anomalies Program at Comer Children's offers an integrated and comprehensive approach to the diagnosis, care and management of hemangiomas and vascular malformations. Our multidisciplinary team of pediatrics experts works together to educate families and to evaluate and treat children with all types of these vascular lesions. » Read more about our program and our team.