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Angioma Serpiginosum Workup

  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
Updated: Jun 22, 2016

Imaging Studies

Imaging studies are not usually necessary to evaluate this skin lesion and are indicated only if atypical findings are present and the diagnosis is unclear.



A biopsy helps confirm the diagnosis.


Histologic Findings

The overlying epidermis is normal. The dermal papilla and subpapillary regions of the dermis show dilated capillaries with a thickening of the capillary walls. No inflammatory changes, hemorrhage, or hemosiderin depositions are present. Ultrastructural analysis of several lesions has shown that some thickening of vessel walls may occur from a heavy precipitate of basement membrane–like, fine fibrillar material mixed with thin collagen fibers. Some of these dilated capillaries show slitlike protrusions of lamina into the endothelial lining.

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.


Cris Jagar, MD Staff Physician, Department of Psychiatry, Trinitas Regional Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jeffrey Meffert, MD Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

Jeffrey Meffert, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Mark W Cobb, MD Consulting Staff, WNC Dermatological Associates

Mark W Cobb, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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