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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2000 June;135(3):285-94

language: Italian

Vascular anomalies of dermatological interest. General observations

Gelmetti C.

Università degli Studi - Milano Istituto di Scienze Dermatologiche IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore - Milano


Vascular anomalies of dermatological interest are very frequent in all ages and, among children, at least one newborn every three presents some vascular birthmark. After centuries in which congenital vascular anomalies have been attributed to incorrect behavior of the mother at the time of conception or during pregnancy, the present knowledge of embryology and molecular biology excludes formally a maternal responsibility as it was imagined in the past. The study of angiogenic and antiangiogenic factors has already led to clinical applications as the treatment of Kasabach-Merritt syndrome with interferon a, while present investigations are directed to inhibit the angiogenesis of malignant tumors. After Mulliken’s classification of 1982, the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies (ISSVA) in 1996 divided vascular anomalies in two groups: vascular malformations and vascular tumors. The latter are, in the great majority of cases, hyperplasias or benign neoplasms with spontaneous involution; the forms with intermediate behavior are less common and the malignant forms are rare. This classification is, at present, the most commonly employed. More recently Requena e Sangueza have reviewed the subject in depth and they have proposed a more complete but more complex classification correlated by an analytical histological study. Various techniques, which could be useful in the diagnosis of vascular anomalies, are also described.

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