Vascular malformations are congenital anomalies of the vascular system that often affect the head and neck region. Vascular malformations are typically present at birth and proportionately grow with the patient. In contrast to vascular tumors, they are composed of dysplastic vessels rather than proliferating cells. The most commonly used classification is that of the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies (ISSVA). According to this classification, simple malformations include venous, capillary, lymphatic, arteriovenous malformations, and arteriovenous fistulas. Symptoms depend on the affected anatomical structures and can range from swelling to life-threatening bleeding, airway obstruction or blindness. Management options for vascular malformations include conservative approaches, surgical intervention, sclerotherapy and embolisation as determined by type of malformation, location and associated complications. This article provides an overview of the major types of vascular malformations that affect the head and neck.
Thieme. All rights reserved.