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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 2005 April;140(2):149-54

language: English, Italian

Acquired tufted angioma of the thigh in an adult

Patrizi A., Varotti E., Parlangeli A., Misciali C.

Dermatology Unit Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


Tufted angioma (TA) is a rare, benign vascular tumour, mostly occurring in children or young adults, usually located on the neck, shoulders and upper trunk. TA is usually characterized by a slowly growing erythematous or violaceous macule or plaque which become stable in size after several years. Spontaneous regression has rarely been reported. We report here a case of acquired TA. A 44 year-old woman referred to our department for evaluation of an angiomatous lesion involving the right thigh, started 18 months before and progressively increased in size in the last 2 months. The lesion was asymptomatic and clinically appeared as a solitary, dome shaped, oval, reddish and livid plaque, 15 mm in diameter. The lesion was surgically removed and histology showed small, circumscribed angiomatous lobules and tufts, with a cannonball appearance, distributed throughout the dermis. Immunohistochemical study showed that the endotelial cells in capillary tufts were positive for CD31, CD34 and weakly positive for factor VIII-related antigen. A diagnosis of TA was made. TA rarely occurs on the legs in adults, but such a location has been previously reported. Differential diagnoses of TA include: cellular haemangioma, glomeruloid haemangioma, pyogenic granuloma, angioeccrine hamartoma, angiosarcoma and other vascular neoplasms, but the most important differential diagnoses are kaposiform emangioendotelioma in children and Kaposi’s sarcoma or angiosarcoma in adults. Surgical excision seems to be successful in most of smaller, circumscribed lesions.

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