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Arterial Vascular Malformations Including Hemangiomas and Lymphangiomas Workup

  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
Updated: Jun 10, 2016

Laboratory Studies

The diagnosis of vascular tumors and malformations is usually made solely on the basis of the history and physical examination. No laboratory studies are specifically useful in this setting.


Imaging Studies

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides precise localization of the lesion. It is performed to detect the presence or absence of associated nervous system abnormalities. Furthermore, because vascular tumors have a distinct appearance on MRI, it is used in the diagnosis of atypical lesions.

Ultrasonography with color flow is cost-effective; however, it is operator-dependent and does not accurately depict the relation of the lesion to other anatomic structures.

Intracranial vascular anomalies are present in more than two thirds of patients with a periorbital lymphatic malformation and potentially require treatment.[35] Imaging of patients with orbital lymphatic malformation should include the brain as well as the orbit.

Prenatal diagnosis of an intracranial, rapidly involuting congenital hemangioma by means of prenatal imaging has been described.[36]


Diagnostic Procedures

Biopsy is performed if malignancy is suspected.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Tzongier J Wei, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Chief and Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital

Tzongier J Wei, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Herbert Dardik, MD, FACS Clinical Professor of Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Chief, Department of Surgery, Chief, Vascular Surgical Service, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Richie L Lin, MD Staff Physician, Department of Dermatology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Andre Hebra, MD Chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine; Surgeon-in-Chief, Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital

Andre Hebra, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, Florida Medical Association, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, Children's Oncology Group, International Pediatric Endosurgery Group, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Pediatric Surgical Association, Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, South Carolina Medical Association, Southeastern Surgical Congress, Southern Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM Professor and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport

Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American College of Surgeons, American Surgical Association, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Jeff L Myers, MD, PhD Chief, Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Jeff L Myers, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Surgeons, American Heart Association, and International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous author Neal Ammar, MD, to the development and writing of this article.

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Fully developed vascular tumor on trunk of infant.
Large vascular tumor encompassing upper extremity and portions of trunk, clinically diagnosed.
Lower extremity port-wine stain in patient with Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome.
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