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Lasers Have Mixed Results in Pediatric Vascular Lesions

Review confirms efficacy for port wine stains, shows controversy for hemangiomas

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric patients, laser treatment is safe and effective for port wine stains, but it shows mixed results for hemangiomas and works best on superficial lesions, according to study findings published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Meghan F. Stier, of Skincare Doctors in Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues conducted a literature review aimed at assessing the advantages, disadvantages, complications and limitations of laser treatment for port wine stains and hemangiomas.

For port wine stains, the researchers found that laser treatments should target smaller, superficial capillaries before targeting larger, deeper capillaries, which may be effectively treated with a longer wavelength (maximum of 600 nm) and a longer pulse duration (maximum of 3 ms). For hemangiomas, they found evidence that laser treatment is sometimes no better than watchful waiting.

"Future research could involve clarifying standard parameters and cooling methods, extending follow-up periods, and identifying novel ways to treat deeper components of hemangiomas," the authors conclude. "More randomized controlled trials or strong evidence-based studies regarding hemangiomas have also been suggested. Future studies should also note the growth stage of the infantile hemangioma. It often correlates with patient age, although this is not always an exact correlation."

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