Should I be afraid of a vascular tumor?
Table of Contents
Why do they appear
When vascular capillaries grow incorrectly, a hemangioma occurs, when, rarely, an anomaly of the lymphatic vessels occurs – lymphangioma.
No one can describe the sequence of growth of a vascular tumor. This is due to the fact that the pathology does not have a single cause. It appears due to various disorders that, in combination, stimulate tumor growth.
Risk factors for the development of hemangiomas:
- Caucasian race
- Conducted diagnostic manipulations during pregnancy (amniocentesis, chorionic biopsy). Because of them, the cells of future vessels can move to atypical places. Ultrasound does not affect the appearance of hemangiomas
- The pregnant woman is over 35 years old
- Increasing the amount of amniotic fluid
- preterm birth
- The weight of the child is less than 2500 grams.
Due to the influence of these factors, hemangioma appears in the first weeks after birth.
“Infantile hemangiomas appear in the first weeks of a child’s life,” explains GMS Clinic pediatrician Emilia Gavrilova . They increase gradually over several months. After that, they begin to decrease, but more slowly than they increased. Over time, they usually disappear: sometimes without a trace, and sometimes skin of a different color or structure remains in place of the hemangioma.
According to their cellular structure, hemangiomas are the same. Vascular anomalies are distinguished depending on the appearance, location and size.
Clinical classification of hemangiomas:
- Congenital. The tumor develops in the intrauterine period. The child is born with a formed tumor. A characteristic feature of these formations is the possibility of self-disappearance over time: this is how about 50% of hemangiomas are resolved during the first year of life.
- Infantile. It occurs due to the rapid growth of capillaries, or rather endothelial cells in them (cells of the inner lining of blood vessels). Vessels fuse into glomeruli – this process is called malformation. Infantile hemangiomas do not appear immediately after birth, but during the first 2 months of life. In 90% of cases, they resolve on their own from 5 months to 5 years.
- Lobular capillary. It is similar in structure to a hemangioma. But this is the formation of a mucous membrane or skin with a vascular component
- Cavernous. Same as infantile, but located under the skin or deep in the tissues
- Coagulopathy. These are venous and arterial capillaries with blood clots, which only outwardly resemble hemangiomas. There is a syndrome (Kazabakh-Merritt), in which blood clots begin to appear in the vessels of the hemangioma. This is a dangerous disease that occurs in children under 1 year old.
- Vascular malformations. These are lymphangiomas, cystic hygromas, wine stains. There are external defects, but the structure of the vessels is not disturbed.
The classification itself is difficult to understand even for people with medical education. But due to the large number of vascular formations and tumors, they cannot be described in general terms.
By localization, hemangioma is:
In form, vascular anomalies can be segmental – large plaque-like formations, localized – when there is one area or vessel from which the formation grows, multifocal – many areas from which altered vessels grow.
It must be remembered that hemangiomas can also be located on the internal organs. Such anomalies often become incidental findings on ultrasound, MRI or CT.
In the practice of a doctor, congenital or infantile hemangiomas are most common. It is they who bring concern to parents and can cause complications in the form of bleeding, clamping of the organ or respiratory tract.
Up to 5 months, hemangiomas in children grow. After 5 months, their regression gradually begins. A congenital hemangioma that does not disappear before 1 year of age can be removed surgically.
Hemangiomas that are located in the area of the eyes or eyelids are dangerous for their complications. They can disrupt the formation of a child’s vision, up to complete blindness in one of the eyes. Such neoplasms should be treated immediately, without waiting for their own disappearance.
Dangerous infantile hemangiomas of the neck. They can quickly grow in size and block the airflow, causing respiratory failure.
A frequent complication of hemangiomas is their ulceration and bleeding. Against the background of skin injury, a bacterial infection may join. More often this happens with vascular neoplasms of the perineum or axillary region.
Otherwise, if the hemangioma is small and is located on the trunk or limbs, the doctor’s main tactic is expectant. It is necessary to control growth, and in cases of its acceleration, start treatment.