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Patient Story
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A young girl is brought in by her mother to see their pediatrician for a red growth on the face that has been there for two months (Figure 142-1). The red growth bleeds easily if traumatized. The pediatrician recognizes the typical features of a pyogenic granuloma and presents various treatment options to the mother including excision with biopsy. It is clear that the child will not stay still for local anesthetic with the needle but is willing to allow the physician to use a Cryo Tweezer to freeze the pyogenic granuloma. The pediatrician places the Cryo Tweezer in liquid nitrogen and applies the device to the pyogenic granuloma. As the child is cooperative with the procedure a second freeze is performed in the same manner. On follow-up visit in 3 weeks, the pyogenic granuloma is gone. The mother is warned if there is regrowth to return for further evaluation and treatment.

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FIGURE 142-1

A. Pyogenic granuloma on the cheek of a young girl. B. Cryotherapy of the pyogenic granuloma using a cryo tweezer. This method was chosen because the girl was afraid of the needle needed for local anesthesia and surgical excision. She tolerated the cryotherapy well. (Used with permission from Richard P. Usatine, MD.)

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Introduction
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Pyogenic granuloma (PG) is the name for a common, benign, acquired, vascular neoplasm of the skin and mucous membranes.

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Synonyms
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  • The term “lobular capillary hemangioma” is an accepted and preferred term because PG is neither pyogenic (purulent bacterial infection) nor a granuloma.1 We continue to use “pyogenic granuloma” as this is still the most recognized term.

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Epidemiology
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  • Most often seen in children and young adults (0.5% of children’s skin lesions); 42 percent of cases occur by 5 years of age and about 1 percent are present at birth.1

  • Oral lesions occur most often in the second and third decade, more commonly in women (2:1).1 In a case series from Israel of pediatric gingival lesions (N = 233), one-quarter were PGs.

  • Also common during pregnancy.

  • PG has also been reported in the gastrointestinal tract, the larynx, and on the nasal mucosa, conjunctiva, and cornea.

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Etiology and Pathophysiology
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  • Etiology is unknown but may be the result of trauma, infection, or preceding dermatoses.

  • Consists of dense proliferation of capillaries and fibroblastic stroma that is infiltrated with polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

  • Multiple PGs have been reported at burn sites and following use of oral contraceptives, protease inhibitors, and topical application of tretinoin for acne.2

  • PGs are known to regress following pregnancy. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was found in one study to be high in the granulomas in pregnancy and was almost undetectable after parturition and associated with apoptosis of endothelial ...

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