The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

Although infantile hemangiomas (IHs) are a common tumor of infancy, their occurrence
in the airway is uncommon. When present, they may affect any portion of the
airway; however, they most frequently involve the narrowest portion of the pediatric
airway, namely the subglottis, often resulting in symptoms of stridor and respiratory
distress. Unrecognized or untreated, the rapid growth of airway IHs may result in complete
obstruction of the airway. As a result, otolaryngologists who treat children should
be familiar with the diagnosis and management of these lesions (Fig. 1).