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Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon (KMP) is a rare, potentially life-threatening condition. It occurs when certain fast-growing vascular tumors [kaposiform hemangioendothelioma (KHE) or tufted angioma (TA)] trap and destroy platelets, interfering with blood clotting and raising the risk of serious bleeding. Kasabach–Merritt phenomenon is also known as hemangioma thrombocytopenia syndrome.
Patients diagnosed with kaposiform hemangioendotheliomas or tufted angiomas are monitored for the development of Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon. Signs and symptoms of KMP include:
Although the presence of KHE or TA indicates a risk of developing Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon, an accurate diagnosis of KMP requires a blood test to measure platelet counts. A physician may also perform a physical exam to check for abdominal masses and to look for signs of bleeding, such as excessive bruising or "pinpoint" brown spots that indicate small blood vessel bleeding. Imaging tests such as CT and MRI may also be performed.
In many cases, several types of treatment are required to manage and treat Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon. These therapies aim to:
Treatments may include:
The vascular anomalies program at Comer Children's offers an integrated and comprehensive approach to the diagnosis, care and management of vascular malformations. Our multidisciplinary team of pediatric experts works together to educate families and to evaluate and treat children with all types of these vascular lesions.