Plastic Surgery for Capillary Malformations Workup

Updated: Nov 16, 2015
  • Author: Ashok Tholpady, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
  • Print

Imaging Studies

See the list below:

  • For concerning lesions, appropriate imaging studies include computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and spinal radiography. [4]

  • Magnetic resonance angiography can be used to help document the presence or absence of enlarged vessels in vascular anomalies based on the presence of gradient recall echo sequences. Confirm the diagnosis with appropriate clinical history and physical examination findings.

  • MRI findings may serve as a guide for planned surgical excision.

  • Doppler studies can be used to evaluate the flow pattern of the lesion. Arterial malformations demonstrate high flow; this is a noninvasive method of differentiating them from capillary malformations.


Histologic Findings

Capillary malformations have normal ultrastructural characteristics and normal endothelial mitotic activity. Typical Weibel-Palade bodies, smooth endoplastic reticulum, and fenestrated postcapillary venules may be observed using electron microscopy. Pericytes only partially cover endothelial cells.