Soft tissue




Topic Completed: 1 November 2012

Minor changes: 11 October 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed search: soft tissue [title] hemangioma

Vijay Shankar, M.D.
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Cite this page: Shankar V. Hemangioma. website. Accessed October 15th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Common benign tumor, particularly in childhood; some may be hamartomas
  • Usually superficial (head / neck), may occur internally (1 / 3 in liver), malignant transformation rare
  • Usually localized, but may involve large segments of body (termed angiomatosis)
  • Most pediatric angiomas are present at birth and expand with growth of child; may regress at puberty
Capillary hemangioma
  • Blood vessels resemble capillaries
  • Present in skin, subcutaneous tissue, mucous membranes of lips, mouth, internal viscera
  • Strawberry type is seen in juveniles in 1 / 200 births, may be multiple, grow in first year, fade at ages 1 - 3, regress by age 7 in 75%
Cavernous hemangioma
  • In skin, called port wine nevus or nevus flammeus
  • Present at birth, grows slowly with patient; does not regress
  • In deep locations may thrombose, ulcerate, become infected; associated with thrombocytopenia, intravascular coagulation
  • Associated with von Hippel Lindau disease, which has cavernous hemangiomas in cerebellum, brain stem, eye grounds
  • Sinusoidal hemangiomas: cavernous hemangiomas with dilated, interconnected, thin walled channels with occasional pseudopapillary projections
Gross description
  • Cavernous hemangioma: 1 - 2 cm (larger than capillary), sharply defined
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Increased number of vessels (normal / abnormal)
  • Readily recognizable vascular structures with red blood cells or transudate
  • Lined by monolayer of non atypical endothelial cells
  • Capillary: closely packed spindle cells with spaces containing little blood; lumens may be thrombosed or organized, hemosiderin present due to rupture; scant fibrous stroma
  • Cavernous:
  • large cystically dilated vessels with thin walls; intravascular thrombosis or calcification is common
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Shilpa Jain, M.D.


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