Cavernous Hemangioma

Updated: Sep 01, 2015
  • Author: Adam J Cohen, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Overview

Background

Cavernous hemangiomas are the most common intraorbital tumors found in adults. These benign, vascular lesions are slow growing and can manifest as a painless, progressively proptotic eye. Most of these tumefactions are exceedingly unilateral. Bilateral cases have been reported but are rare.

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Pathophysiology

Orbital cavernous angiomas can increase intraorbital volume with a resultant mass effect. Although cavernous hemangiomas are histologically benign, they can encroach on intraorbital or adjacent structures and can be considered anatomically or positionally malignant. Visual acuity or field compromise, diplopia, and extraocular muscle or pupillary dysfunction can result from compression of intraorbital contents by the angioma. Lagophthalmos can result in exposure keratopathy, keratitis, and corneal perforation.

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Epidemiology

Frequency

International

Henderson reported an incidence of 4.3% among orbital neoplasms. [1]

Mortality/Morbidity

The morbidity associated with cavernous hemangiomas is the threat of compressive optic neuropathy, extraocular muscle dysfunction, and cosmetic disfigurement.

Mortality can result from intraoperative complications, such as bleeding and the risk of general anesthesia.

Race

No predilection exists for race or ethnicity.

Sex

Harris and Jakobiec found a 7:3 occurrence ratio of women to men, while Henderson reported an almost equal ratio, 8:7 in women and men. [2, 1]

Age

Patients usually manifest symptomatically during the third to fifth decades of life.

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