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June 16, 1989

Vascular Birthmarks: Hemangiomas and Malformations

JAMA. 1989;261(23):3478. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420230132042

Vascular birthmarks have been an enigma from the beginning of recorded medical history. Since antiquity these lesions have been well described in various colors, locations, textures, and elevations, but their causes and classifications have remained speculative and confusing if not unscientific. They are more common than generally realized (one in every three children, according to these authors), although gross and disfiguring lesions are thankfully rare. Unfortunately, however, the advice on management and treatment given to those patients seeking medical opinions is generally disappointing. It is to the primary physician who needs to have both knowledge and perspective to be able to steer these bewildered patients through the many existing therapeutic pitfalls that this text is directed.

Vascular Birthmarks is a classic medical monograph. It discusses this single entity rather thoroughly, dealing first with a delightful chapter on its history, folklore, and literature. As evidence of its timelessness the authors have