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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Types of Vascular Anomalies

Vascular anomalies are birthmarks composed of blood vessels (arteries, veins, lymphatic vessels and/or capillaries) that have developed abnormally. These lesions are classified as hemangiomas, vascular malformations and rare vascular tumors.

Hemangiomas are sometimes not visible at birth or appear as faint red marks. However, within a few weeks, they start to grow rapidly. Over time, some hemangiomas lighten and become smaller (involute). Hemangiomas include:

Vascular malformations are visible at birth and grow slowly in proportion to the child’s growth. They do not involute and may become more noticeable over time. Vascular malformations include:

Rare vascular tumors are usually benign and sometimes disappear without medical or surgical treatment. Fortunately, malignant vascular tumors that can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body are rare in childhood. Vascular tumors include: