Denise W Metry

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

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Publications (106)

  • Article · Sep 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Twins have a higher-than-expected risk of infantile hemangiomas (IHs), but the exact reasons for this association are not clear. Comparing concordant and discordant twin pairs might help elucidate these factors and yield more information about IH risk factors. Methods: A prospective cohort study of twin pairs from 12 pediatric dermatology centers in the United States, Canada, Argentina, and Spain was conducted. Information regarding maternal pregnancy history, family history of vascular birthmarks, zygosity (if known), and pregnancy-related information was collected. Information regarding twins (N = 202 sets) included birthweight, gestational age (GA), presence or absence of IHs, numbers and subtypes of IHs, presence of other birthmarks, and other medical morbidities. Results: Two hundred two sets of twins were enrolled. Concordance for IH was present in 37% of twin pairs. Concordance for IH was inversely related to gestational age (GA), present in 42% of GA of 32 weeks or less, 36% of GA of 33 to 36 weeks, and 32% of GA of 37 weeks or more. Twins of GA of 34 weeks or less were more than two and a half times as likely to be concordant as those of GA of 35 weeks or more (odds ratio (OR) = 2.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.42-4.99; p < 0.01). In discordant twins, lower birthweight conferred a high risk of IH; of the 64 sets of twins with 10% or greater difference in weight, the smaller twin had IH in 62.5% (n = 40) of cases, versus 37.5% (n = 24) of cases in which the higher-birthweight twin was affected. Zygosity was reported in 188 twin sets (93%). Of these, 78% were dizygotic and 22% monozygotic. There was no statistically significant difference in rates of concordance between monozygotic twins (43%, 18/42) and dizygotic twins (36%, 52/146) (p = 0.50). In multivariate analysis comparing monozygotic and dizygotic twins, adjusting for effects of birthweight and sex, the likelihood of concordance for monozygotic was not appreciably higher than that for dizygotic twins (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 0.52-2.49). Female sex also influenced concordance, confirming the effects of female sex on IH risk. The female-to-male ratio was 1.7:1 in the entire cohort and 1.9:1 in those with IH. Of the 61 concordant twin sets with known sex of both twins, 41% were female/female, 43% were female/male, and 16% were male/male. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the origin of IHs is multifactorial and that predisposing factors such as birthweight, sex, and GA may interact with one another such that a threshold is reached for clinical expression.
    Article · Feb 2016 · Pediatric Dermatology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PHACE (posterior fossa brain malformation, hemangiomas, arterial anomalies, coarctation of the aorta and cardiac defects, and eye abnormalities) syndrome is a neurocutaneous disorder often involving the cerebral vasculature. PHACE patients appear to have early-onset and severe headaches more commonly than children without PHACE. The objective of this study was to characterize the clinical features and prevalence of headache by conducting a cross-sectional survey of families in 2 large PHACE registries. Sixty-six percent of eligible families completed the survey in which 62.7% of respondents reported headaches. Average age of headache onset was 48.8 months. Females were more likely to have headaches (68.6% vs 30.8%, P = .014). Families reported associated migrainous features including nausea (62.5%), vomiting (37.5%), photophobia (75%), and phonophobia (75%). Headaches occurred at least weekly in 29.4%, lasted ≥1 hour in 85.4%, and led to ≥1 hospital admission in 15.7%. Three respondents with headaches had at least 1 ischemic stroke. We demonstrated that headaches are common among PHACE patients, develop at an early age, and have migrainous features. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of child neurology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infantile hemangiomas (IH) are common tumors for which there is no validated disease-specific instrument to measure quality of life in infants and their parents/caregivers during the critical first months of life. This study prospectively developed and validated a quality-of-life instrument for patients with IH and their parents/caregivers and correlated demographic and clinical features to the effects on quality of life. Two-hundred and twenty parents/caregivers completed the 35-item Infantile Hemangioma Quality-of-Life (IH-QoL) instrument and provided demographic information. The dimensionality of the items was evaluated using factor analysis with results suggesting 4 factors: child physical symptoms, child social interactions, parent emotional functioning and parent psychosocial functioning. Each factor fit the Rasch measurement model with acceptable fit index (Mean square <1.4) and demonstrated excellent internal consistency, with Alpha ranging from 0.76 to 0.88. The final instrument consists of 4 scales with a total of 29 items. Content validity was verified by analyzing parents' responses to an open-ended question. Test-retest reliability at a 48 h interval was supported by a total IH-QoL intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.84. Certain hemangioma clinical characteristics including those located on the head and neck, in the proliferative stage, and requiring treatment are associated with a greater impact on QoL.Journal of Investigative Dermatology accepted article preview online, 23 January 2015. doi:10.1038/jid.2015.18.
    Full-text available · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Investigative Dermatology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: Coronin-1A deficiency is a recently recognized autosomal recessive primary immunodeficiency caused by mutations in CORO1A (OMIM 605000) that results in T-cell lymphopenia and is classified as T(-)B(+)NK(+)severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Only two other CORO1A-kindred are known to date, thus the defining characteristics are not well delineated. We identified a unique CORO1A-kindred. Methods: We captured a 10-year analysis of the immune-clinical phenotypes in two affected siblings from disease debut of age 7 years. Target-specific genetic studies were pursued but unrevealing. Telomere lengths were also assessed. Whole exome sequencing (WES) uncovered the molecular diagnosis and Western blot validated findings. Results: We found the compound heterozygous CORO1A variants: c.248_249delCT (p.P83RfsX10) and a novel mutation c.1077delC (p.Q360RfsX44) (NM_007074.3) in two affected non-consanguineous siblings that manifested as absent CD4CD45RA(+) (naïve) T and memory B cells, low NK cells and abnormally increased double-negative (DN) ϒδ T-cells. Distinguishing characteristics were late clinical debut with an unusual mucocutaneous syndrome of epidermodysplasia verruciformis-human papilloma virus (EV-HPV), molluscum contagiosum and oral-cutaneous herpetic ulcers; the older female sibling also had a disfiguring granulomatous tuberculoid leprosy. Both had bilateral bronchiectasis and the female died of EBV+ lymphomas at age 16 years. The younger surviving male, without malignancy, had reproducibly very short telomere lengths, not before appreciated in CORO1A mutations. Conclusion: We reveal the third CORO1A-mutated kindred, with the immune phenotype of abnormal naïve CD4 and DN T-cells and newfound characteristics of a late/hypomorphic-like SCID of an EV-HPV mucocutaneous syndrome with also B and NK defects and shortened telomeres. Our findings contribute to the elucidation of the CORO1A-SCID-CID spectrum.
    Full-text available · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Clinical Immunology
  • Jessica L Boulavsky · Lorna P Browne · Kirra Brandon · [...] · Denise Metry
    Article · Jan 2014 · Pediatric Dermatology
  • Denise W. Metry
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infantile hemangiomas are the most common tumors of infancy. Though characterized by benign histopathology and clinical improvement over time, a significant minority can be complicated by ulceration, organ compromise, associated congenital anomalies, and/or permanent disfigurement. Such complications range from being relatively minor to severe and life altering or even life threatening. Hemangioma management is highly individualized and dependent on a number of case-by-case variables, and is further challenged by a lack of FDA-approved agents or evidence-based treatment standards for hemangiomas. Despite this, systemic medications continue to be the mainstay of therapy for most problematic tumors, and the introduction of propranolol hydrochloride, with its superior efficacy and improved side effect profile as compared to alternative systemic agents, has become an exciting new therapeutic option. This chapter addresses the specific hemangioma complications that warrant consideration of systemic therapy, with special emphasis on current evidence guiding treatment with propranolol.
    Chapter · Jan 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PHACE syndrome represents the association of large infantile hemangiomas of the head and neck with brain, cerebrovascular, cardiac, ocular, and ventral or midline defects. Cardiac and cerebrovascular anomalies are the most common extracutaneous features of PHACE, and they also constitute the greatest source of potential morbidity. Congenital heart disease in PHACE is incompletely described, and this study was conducted to better characterize its features. This study of the International PHACE Syndrome Registry represents the largest central review of clinical, radiologic, and histopathologic data for cardiovascular anomalies in patients with PHACE to date. Sixty-two (41%) of 150 subjects had intracardiac, aortic arch, or brachiocephalic vessel anomalies. Aberrant origin of a subclavian artery was the most common cardiovascular anomaly (present in 31 (21%) of 150 subjects). Coarctation was the second most common anomaly, identified in 28 (19%) of 150 subjects, and can be missed clinically in patients with PHACE because of the frequent association of arch obstruction with aberrant subclavian origin. Twenty-three (37%) of 62 subjects with cardiovascular anomalies required procedural intervention. A greater percentage of hemangiomas were located on the left side of the head and neck in patients with coarctation (46% vs 39%); however, hemangioma distribution did not predict the presence of cardiovascular anomalies overall. In conclusion, PHACE is associated with a high risk of congenital heart disease. Cardiac and aortic arch imaging with detailed assessment of arch patency and brachiocephalic origins is essential for any patient suspected of having PHACE. Longitudinal investigation is needed to determine the long-term outcomes of cardiovascular anomalies in PHACE.
    Article · Sep 2013 · The American journal of cardiology
  • Lucia Diaz · Moise L Levy · Andrew Kalajian · Denise Metry
    Article · Sep 2013
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infantile myofibromatosis (IM) is a disorder of mesenchymal proliferation characterized by the development of nonmetastasizing tumors in the skin, muscle, bone, and viscera. Occurrence within families across multiple generations is suggestive of an autosomal-dominant (AD) inheritance pattern, but autosomal-recessive (AR) modes of inheritance have also been proposed. We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) in members of nine unrelated families clinically diagnosed with AD IM to identify the genetic origin of the disorder. In eight of the families, we identified one of two disease-causing mutations, c.1978C>A (p.Pro660Thr) and c.1681C>T (p.Arg561Cys), in PDGFRB. Intriguingly, one family did not have either of these PDGFRB mutations but all affected individuals had a c.4556T>C (p.Leu1519Pro) mutation in NOTCH3. Our studies suggest that mutations in PDGFRB are a cause of IM and highlight NOTCH3 as a candidate gene. Further studies of the crosstalk between PDGFRB and NOTCH pathways may offer new opportunities to identify mutations in other genes that result in IM and is a necessary first step toward understanding the mechanisms of both tumor growth and regression and its targeted treatment.
    Full-text available · Article · May 2013 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Segmental hemangiomas of the head and neck can be associated with multiple congenital anomalies in the disorder known as PHACE syndrome (OMIM 606519) (posterior fossa malformations, hemangioma, arterial anomalies, cardiac defects, and eye anomalies). All reported cases of PHACE syndrome to date have been sporadic, and the genetic basis of this disorder has not yet been established. PHACE syndrome has a striking female predominance which has raised the question of X-linked inheritance. In this study, the X chromosome-inactivation (XCI) patterns of 31 females with PHACE syndrome and their mothers were analyzed using blood-derived DNA and X-chromosome locus methylation assay. This study was performed to test the hypothesis that some cases of PHACE syndrome are due to X-linked inheritance and favorable skewing in the mothers may protect against a severe phenotype, but the clinical phenotype may be unmasked in daughters with a random pattern of X-inactivation. XCI analysis was informative in 27/31 mothers. Our results identified skewed XCI in 5 of 27 (19%) informative mothers, which is not statistically significant with a p value of 0.41. None of the mothers reported significant medical problems, although a full PHACE work-up has not been performed in these individuals. Skewed XCI in the mothers of children with PHACE was identified in only a minority of cases. Based on these results, genetic heterogeneity is likely in PHACE syndrome, although it is possible a subset of cases are caused by a mutation in an X-linked gene.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2013 · Molecular syndromology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infantile hemangiomas (IHs) are common neoplasms composed of proliferating endothelial-like cells. Despite the relative frequency of IH and the potential severity of complications, there are currently no uniform guidelines for treatment. Although propranolol has rapidly been adopted, there is significant uncertainty and divergence of opinion regarding safety monitoring, dose escalation, and its use in PHACE syndrome (PHACE = posterior fossa, hemangioma, arterial lesions, cardiac abnormalities, eye abnormalities; a cutaneous neurovascular syndrome characterized by large, segmental hemangiomas of the head and neck along with congenital anomalies of the brain, heart, eyes and/or chest wall). A consensus conference was held on December 9, 2011. The multidisciplinary team reviewed existing data on the pharmacologic properties of propranolol and all published reports pertaining to the use of propranolol in pediatric patients. Workgroups were assigned specific topics to propose protocols on the following subjects: contraindications, special populations, pretreatment evaluation, dose escalation, and monitoring. Consensus protocols were recorded during the meeting and refined after the meeting. When appropriate, protocol clarifications and revision were made and agreed upon by the group via teleconference. Because of the absence of high-quality clinical research data, evidence-based recommendations are not possible at present. However, the team agreed on a number of recommendations that arose from a review of existing evidence, including when to treat complicated IH; contraindications and pretreatment evaluation protocols; propranolol use in PHACE syndrome; formulation, target dose, and frequency of propranolol; initiation of propranolol in infants; cardiovascular monitoring; ongoing monitoring; and prevention of hypoglycemia. Where there was considerable controversy, the more conservative approach was selected. We acknowledge that the recommendations are conservative in nature and anticipate that they will be revised as more data are made available.
    Article · Dec 2012 · PEDIATRICS
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Propranolol is a non-selective beta-adrenergic antagonist successfully used in a case of kaposiform hemangioendothelioma (KHE) associated with Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon (KMP). We report 11 patients treated with propranolol for KHE and the related variant tufted angioma (TA), six of whom also had KMP. The varied responses to treatment, with only 36% responding in our series, demonstrate the need for further study of this medication before routine use for these indications. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2012; 59: 934-938. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Article · Nov 2012 · Pediatric Blood & Cancer
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PHACE syndrome is the association of large segmental facial hemangiomas and congenital anomalies, such as posterior fossa malformations, cerebral arterial anomalies, coarctation of the aorta, eye anomalies, and sternal defects. To date, the reported cases of PHACE syndrome have been sporadic, suggesting that PHACE may have a complex pathogenesis. We report here genomic copy number variation (CNV) analysis of 98 individuals with PHACE syndrome as a first step in deciphering a potential genetic basis of PHACE syndrome. A total of 3,772 CNVs (2,507 duplications and 1,265 deletions) were detected in 98 individuals with PHACE syndrome. CNVs were then eliminated if they failed to meet established criteria for quality, spanned centromeres, or did not contain genes. CNVs were defined as "rare" if not documented in the database of genomic variants. Ten rare CNVs were discovered (size range: 134-406 kb), located at 1q32.1, 1q43, 3q26.32-3q26.33, 3p11.1, 7q33, 10q24.32, 12q24.13, 17q11.2, 18p11.31, and Xq28. There were no rare CNV events that occurred in more than one subject. Therefore, further study is needed to determine the significance of these CNVs in the pathogenesis of PHACE syndrome.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 25 October 2012; doi:10.1038/jid.2012.367.
    Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Investigative Dermatology
  • Dataset · Oct 2012
  • Denise Metry · Ilona J Frieden · Christopher Hess · [...] · Beth A Drolet
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this retrospective study of patients evaluated between July 2008 and October 2011 in seven pediatric dermatology centers was to combine collective clinical experience using oral propranolol therapy in 32 infants with PHACE syndrome (Posterior fossa [brain malformations present at birth], Hemangioma [usually covering a large area of the skin of the head or neck >5 cm]; Arterial lesions [abnormalities of the blood vessels in the neck or head]; Cardiac abnormalities or aortic coarctation [abnormalities of the heart or blood vessels that are attached to the heart]; Eye abnormalities) with cervical or intracranial arterial anomalies. Patients were given an average daily dose of oral propranolol of 1.8 mg/kg divided two or three times per day for an average duration of 12.3 months. The main outcome measure was adverse neurologic events. Seven (22%) patients were categorized as being at higher risk for stroke, defined on magnetic resonance imaging as severe, long-segment narrowing or nonvisualization of major cerebral or cervical vessels without anatomic evidence of collateral circulation, often in the presence of concomitant cardiovascular comorbidities. Only one patient developed a change in neurologic status during propranolol treatment: mild right hemiparesis that remained static and improved while propranolol was continued. An additional three patients had worsening hemangioma ulceration or tissue necrosis during therapy. This is the largest report thus far of patients with PHACE syndrome treated with propranolol. Although no catastrophic neurologic events occurred, serious complications, particularly severe ulcerations, were seen in a minority of patients, and given the sample size, we cannot exclude the possibility that propranolol could augment the risk of stroke in this population. We propose radiologic criteria that may prove useful in defining PHACE patients as being at high or standard risk for stroke. We continue to advise caution in using systemic beta-blockers, particularly for children with vascular anomalies at higher risk for stroke. Use of the lowest possible dosage, slow dosage titration, three times per day dosing to minimize abrupt changes in blood pressure, and close follow-up, including neurologic consultation as needed, are recommended.
    Article · Sep 2012 · Pediatric Dermatology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prior case reports have identified neurodevelopmental abnormalities in children with PHACE syndrome, a neurocutaneous disorder first characterized in 1996. In this multicenter, retrospective study of a previously identified cohort of 93 children diagnosed with PHACE syndrome from 1999 to 2010, 29 children had neurologic evaluations at ≥ 1 year of age (median age: 4 years, 2 months). In all, 44% had language delay, 36% gross motor delay, and 8% fine motor delay; 52% had an abnormal neurological exam, with speech abnormalities as the most common finding. Overall, 20 of 29 (69%) had neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Cerebral, but not posterior fossa, structural abnormalities were identified more often in children with abnormal versus normal neurodevelopmental outcomes (35% vs. 0%, P = .04). Neurodevelopmental abnormalities in young children with PHACE syndrome referred to neurologists include language and gross motor delay, while fine motor delay is less frequent. Prospective studies are needed to understand long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes.
    Article · Jul 2012 · Journal of child neurology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PHACE syndrome (OMIM #606519) is a neurocutaneous syndrome of unknown etiology and pathogenesis. We report on an individual with PHACE syndrome with a complete deletion of SLC35B4 on 7q33. In order to further analyze this region, SLC35B4 was sequenced for 33 individuals with PHACE syndrome and one parental set. Common polymorphisms with a possible haplotype but no disease causing mutation were identified. Sixteen of 33 samples of the PHACE syndrome patients were also analyzed for copy number variations using high-resolution oligo-comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) microarray. A second individual in this cohort had a 26.5 kb deletion approximately 80 kb upstream of SLC35B4 with partial deletion of the AKR1B1 on 7q33. The deletions observed on 7q33 are not likely the singular cause of PHACE syndrome; however, it is possible that this region provides a genetic susceptibility to phenotypic expression with other confounding genetic or environmental factors.
    Full-text available · Article · Jun 2012 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PHACE is an acronym for posterior fossa brain malformations, hemangiomas, arterial anomalies, coarctation of the aorta and cardiac defects, and eye abnormalities. Several case reports of arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) in individuals with PHACE have been published, but risk factors for AIS in PHACE have not been clearly defined. The objective of this article is to review all cases of stroke in PHACE in children and describe clinical characteristics that may be associated with an increased risk of AIS. A literature and registry search was conducted to identify patients with PHACE who had experienced AIS. Data were analyzed to determine age of onset, presenting signs and symptoms, and clinical features among this cohort compared with PHACE without AIS. Twenty-two individuals with PHACE and AIS were identified. Imaging of the arteries of the head and neck was reported in 20 of 22. Narrowing or nonvisualization of at least 1 great cerebral vessel was present in 19 of 20 and of those, 15 had ≥ 2 vessels involved. Aortic arch anomalies were reported in 13 of 22 individuals. Aplasia, hypoplasia, or occlusion of a major cerebral artery appears to be a significant risk factor for AIS in children with PHACE, especially when >1 vessel is involved or if there is coarctation of the aorta.
    Article · Mar 2012 · Stroke
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To develop instruments that measure the severity of infantile hemangiomas (Hemangioma Severity Scale [HSS]) and the complications of infantile hemangiomas for longitudinal use (Hemangioma Dynamic Complication Scale [HDCS]). Instrument development and reliability study. Academic research. The HSS and the HDCS were developed through the collaborative effort of members of the Hemangioma Investigator Group Research Core, an expert multi-institutional research group. After development of the scales, 13 pediatric dermatologists used the HSS to score 20 different hemangiomas. In addition, 12 pediatric dermatologists used the HDCS to score hemangioma-related complications for 24 clinical scenarios. Interrater and intrarater reliability was measured for both scales. Interrater and intrarater reliability. For the HSS, interrater reliability and intrarater reliability exceeded 99%. Similarly, the HDCS had a high rate of interrater agreement; for individual items, agreement among raters was 67% to 100%, with most clinical scenarios demonstrating greater than 90% agreement. Intrarater reliability was excellent for all individual items of the HDCS. The HSS and the HDCS are reliable scales that can be used to measure the severity of infantile hemangiomas, including the severity of complications for longitudinal use.
    Article · Feb 2012 · Archives of dermatology

Publication Stats

3k Citations


  • 2009
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Dermatology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2007
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Dermatology
      New York, New York, United States