Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:
Although the effectiveness of interferon alfa in the treatment of hemangiomas has been documented in many reports, the risk of spastic diplegia generally favors an alternative agent. Blei et al [ 37 ] reported the use of interferon alfa-2a in parotid hemangiomas (13 females, 1 male) in which the response was poor. Greinwald et al [ 38 ] described a prospective randomized trial of interferon alfa-2a involving 24 patients with massive or life-threatening hemangiomas of the head and the neck. They were given daily subcutaneous injections for 4 months. Of those patients, 58% had a greater than 50% reduction in the size of the tumor and 42% had a complete response. Response rates were greater than those for corticosteroids (58% vs 30%). Another investigation found that interferon alfa-2b was effective in reducing the size of the tumor in more than two thirds of patients.