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May 1990

Vascular Birthmarks: Hemangiomas and Malformations

Author Affiliations

New York, NY

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(5):650-651. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070070036017

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This text, written by a surgeon from Boston, Mass, and a surgeon from London, England, covers the pathology and clinical management of a broad subject that is confusing to many physicians. The authors note in the introduction that one in three children is born with a vascular birthmark. Most of these are cosmetically and medically insignificant, but about 1 in 100 children require medical evaluation. Vascular birthmarks may affect a variety of organs or tissues, giving rise to an apparently diverse group of lesions that are treated by various specialists.

Through the years a confusing terminology, based partly on clinical appearance and partly on pathological appearance, has arisen. For instance, a "hemangioma" described as "capillary," "juvenile," or "strawberry" typically has a growth phase and then involutes. Yet a port wine stain, which never involutes, also has been called a "capillary hemangioma." Other lesions have been given hybrid names, such as

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