Subglottic Hemangioma | Symptoms and Causes

What causes subglottic hemangioma?

Hemangiomas are not hereditary (meaning they do not get passed down from parent to child). There is no known food, activity or medication during pregnancy that can cause a hemangioma to develop.

Research at Boston Children’s Vascular Biology Program has found that hemangiomas form from stem cells. This important discovery is helping our team investigate whether medications can stop their growth.

Symptoms of subglottic hemangioma

Subglottic hemangioma is easily misdiagnosed because there are few signs and symptoms.

Children who develop hemangiomas in the airway often have them elsewhere on their skin (skin hemangioma), where they appear as a benign birthmark made up of a cluster of blood vessels.

Symptoms include:

  • persistent cough that may sound like croup
  • noisy breathing or stridor
  • troubled breathing

Children with a severe subglottic hemangioma may actually appear to be in respiratory distress. Our team at the Center for Airway Disorders is one the most experienced centers in the world diagnosing this rare disorder. Learn more about expert subglottic hemangioma diagnosis at Boston Children’s.