Arch Plast Surg
BACKGROUND: Changes in the composition of the extracellular matrix (ECM) occur between the proliferating and involuted phases of infantile hemangiomas (IH), and are associated with angiogenic growth. We examined the composition of the ECM in proliferating and involuted IHs and assessed correlations between the composition of the ECM and whether the IH was in the proliferating or the involuted phase. METHODS: We evaluated IH samples from a cohort of patients who had five proliferating IHs and five involuted IHs. The following ECM molecules were analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and immunohistochemistry: laminin, fibronectin, collagen type I, collagen type II, and collagen type III. RESULTS: The involuted IHs had higher levels of deposition of collagen type III than the proliferating IHs. The median values (interquartile ranges) were 1.135 (0.946-1.486) and 1.008 (0.780-1.166) (P=0.019), respectively. The level of laminin was higher in involuted IHs than in proliferating IHs, with median values (interquartile ranges) of 3.191 (2.945-3.191) and 2.479 (1.699-3.284) (P=0.047), respectively. Abundant collagen type III staining was found in involuted IHs. Laminin alpha4 chain staining was clearly present within the basement membrane adjacent to the blood vessels, and was significantly more intense in involuted IHs than in proliferative IHs. CONCLUSIONS: Involuted hemangiomas showed extensive deposition of collagen III and laminin, suggesting that differences in the composition of the ECM reflect stages of the development of IHs. This pattern may be due to the rapid senescence of IHs.