Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon (KMP) is a condition that causes problems with blood clotting, or coagulopathy. It is caused by the presence of a blood vessel tumor, either a tufted angioma or kaposiform hemangioendothelioma.
An infant with KMP will present with thrombocytopenia (a low platelet count) and a low level of other blood clotting factors. A low blood count, or anemia, may also be present if bleeding is occurring. The thrombocytopenia from this condition is treatable, but may last for months to years.
This can be a very serious condition, which requires a team approach with a hematologist/oncologist as part of the team. Treatment is often started with a combination of medications such as vincristine, corticosteroids or sirolimus. If untreated, the clotting problem can cause severe bleeding. Other treatments include surgical removal of the lesion, arterial embolization and/or radiation therapy. Embolization blocks the flow of blood to the vascular tumor by using a catheter to inject a substance into the blood vessels. This is done by an interventional radiologist.
The Vascular Lesion Center at Lurie Children's can provide the team approach needed for treatment of this rare and potentially life-threatening condition. Depending on the location and severity of the malformation, your child may need to be seen by many specialists including dermatologists, interventional radiologists, otolaryngologists, plastic and general surgeons, as well as oncologists and physiatrists. Our psychologist and social worker will be able to help you and your child adjust to the changes and special needs that this condition requires.
If you’d like to request an appointment with one of our specialists from the Vascular Lesion Center, call 312.227.8521.