Journal of Indian Academy of Oral Medicine and Radiology

: 2018  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 321--323

Epithelioid hemangioma: A rare entity to report

Mukta Motwani, Tapasya Karemore, Kunal Omprakash Sarate 
 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, VSPM Dental College and Research Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kunal Omprakash Sarate
Flat No. 403, Satyam Flora, Narendra Nagar, Nagpur, Maharashtra


Epithelioid hemangioma (EH) or angiolymphoid hyperplasia is an uncommon benign vasculoproliferative neoplasm. We are reporting a case of EH involving the gingiva in a 12-year-old male patient who reported to the outpatient Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology with the chief complaint of gingival growth in the lower mandibular gingiva involving both buccal and lingual gingiva and facial asymmetry due to enlarged left submandibular lymph nodes. Histopathological features diagnosed the case definitive of EH.

How to cite this article:
Motwani M, Karemore T, Sarate KO. Epithelioid hemangioma: A rare entity to report.J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2018;30:321-323

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Motwani M, Karemore T, Sarate KO. Epithelioid hemangioma: A rare entity to report. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Dec 3 ];30:321-323
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Full Text


Epithelioid hemangioma (EH) is an uncommon benign vasculoproliferative neoplasm, whose etiology and pathogenesis are still uncertain. The term EH was coined by Enzinger and Weiss in 1983, but EH was first described in 1969 by Wells and Whimser as angiolymphoid hyperplasia with eosinophilia.[1],[2],[3]

Extraoral counterpart of this entity typically presents as a small angioma-like nodule, red to brown in color, which may be located intradermally or subcutaneously in young adults. It can mimic lymphoproliferative disorders, especially when the lesion arises in typical location, such as the extremities.[4] Oral presentation of EH is nonspecific and it may be difficult to clinically differentiate EH from angioma, pyogenic granuloma, Kaposi's sarcoma, salivary gland tumor, lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.[1] Oral cases of EH were found to be common in males as compared with females, and the lips, tongue, buccal mucosa, and palate are the common sites involved.[5]

We are reporting a case of EH involving the gingiva in a 12-year-old male patient.

 Case Report

A 12-year-old male reported to the outpatient Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology with the chief complaint of gingival growth in the lower mandibular gingiva involving both buccal and lingual gingiva. Patient gave history of gradual increase in size and involvement with history of occasional gingival bleeding in the last 2 years. No history of weight loss or fever or other constitutional symptoms. Clinical examination showed granular growth involving marginal and attached gingiva, covering cervical third of all teeth in the region [Figure 1]. The growth was painless and not associated with bleeding on probing or any discharge. Lymph node examination revealed enlarged left submandibular node of size was 2 × 1.5 cm, oval shaped, firm, mobile, and nontender. In addition, two smaller submandibular lymph nodes, one on left side and one on right side, were also enlarged and nontender. Patients consent was obtained and radiological investigations such as anIntra oral periapical radiograph and Orthopantomograph were made, which revealed moderate alveolar bone resorption extending from 32 up to 37 region. On ultrasonography of the neck, except for enlarged lymph nodes, no other pathology was observed. Incisional biopsy was done, and at the same time, other investigations were carried out, such as Mantoux test, chest X–ray, and USG-guided FNAC for the lymph node to rule out any systemic cause. USG-guided FNAC for left submandibular enlarged lymph node suggested it as reactive lymphadenopathy, whereas other tests revealed no abnormality.{Figure 1}

Histopathologically, partly ulcerated stratified squamous epithelium showing focal acanthosis and papillomatosis was seen [Figure 2]. Subepithelial tissue showed lobules of small sized blood vessels lined by single layer of plump, epithelioid, endothelial cells with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, large nuclei, and central nucleoli [Figure 3]. The vessels were well canalized and red blood cells seen in the lumen. Few areas showed sheets of epithelioid epithelial cells. Intervening stroma shows mixed inflammatory infiltrate composed of mainly lymphocytes, few plasma cells, eosinophils, and occasional neutrophils, and areas of hemorrhage were also seen. Histopathologically features were suggestive of epithelioid hemangioma. Immunohistochemical evaluation with CD-34 marker heighted subepithelial nodular proliferation of numerous small blood vessels and features were consistent of capillary hemangioma [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]. The epithelioid hemangiomas are classified under capillary hemangiomas.[6]{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}{Figure 6}


Routinely, hemangiomas of the oral soft tissues appear as painless, soft, smooth or lobulated, sessile, or pedunculated masses and may be seen in any size from a few millimeters to several centimeters.[7] EH may vary in clinical presentation depending on the site of involvement.

The exact etiology of EH is not known, but literature review suggests that EH can be a reactive condition caused by trauma, leading to arteriovenous malformation that may trigger cellular proliferation and growth secondary to damage or repair of an artery or vein.[5],[8] Present case does not report the relevance of trauma to the development of the lesion, but as suddenly developed lesion that progressed in size gradually. According to Henriques et al., literature has reported only 40 cases of EH involving the oral cavity. The mean age of the patients was 37.7 years, with a slight predilection for young adult men. Out of the 40 cases of EH reported, till date only one case was seen involving gingiva in a 30-year-old female.[1] Present case of 12-year-old male shows the extensive involvement of gingiva primarily. Lymph node enlargement was found to be reactive, which could be secondary to chronic nature of the lesion. This finding also favors the benign form of EH. Histopathology has been considered to be the gold standard for diagnosis of EH. Treatment of EH is often a challenge. Intralesional corticosteroids, cryotherapy, laser cauterization, and irradiation have been used but are not proven to be effective.[2],[9] Other therapeutic options available are intralesional interferon alpha-2a, indomethacin farnesil, pentoxifylline, and chemotherapeutic agents such as vinblastine, mepolizumab (anti-interleukine-5), and imiquimod.[9]

In one of the reported cases of EH involving lip, imiquimod 5%, receptor-7 agonist was given, which showed a successful resolution of the lesion without relapse in the follow-up period. Imiquimod enhances the innate and acquired immune response and also activates TH-1 cells, which provide a long-term memory of immune response to viral/tumor cells.[9] But, surgical excision with periodic follow-up has been accepted as recommended treatment till now. In the present case, patient was advised for surgical treatment. It is reported that patients with oral EH underwent for complete surgical resection without additional therapy, and recurrence was relatively rare in such cases.[7],[10],[11]


This may be the second case of EH involving gingiva till now. EH can be presented in various forms like swelling or nodule, papule, salivary gland tumor, pyogenic granuloma, squamous cell carcinoma, and sometimes gingival enlargement; therefore, it is always recommended that it should be included in the differential diagnosis of similar soft tissue lesions.[12],[13],[14] Thorough clinical examination supplemented with histopathological analysis will help for definite diagnosis.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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