Childhood Vascular Tumors Treatment

General Information About Childhood Vascular Tumors

KEY POINTS

  • Childhood vascular tumors form from cells that make blood vessels or lymph vessels.
  • Tests are used to detect (find) and diagnose childhood vascular tumors.
  • Childhood vascular tumors may be classified into four groups.
    • Benign tumors
    • Intermediate (locally aggressive) tumors
    • Intermediate (rarely metastasizing) tumors
    • Malignant tumors

Childhood vascular tumors form from cells that make blood vessels or lymph vessels.

Vascular tumors can form from abnormal blood vessel or lymph vessel cells anywhere in the body. They may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). There are many types of vascular tumors. The most common type of childhood vascular tumor is infantile hemangioma, which is a benign tumor that usually goes away on its own.

Because malignant vascular tumors are rare in children, there is not a lot of information about what treatment works best.

Tests are used to detect (find) and diagnose childhood vascular tumors.

The following tests and procedures may be used:

  • Physical exam and history : An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps, lesions, or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
  • Ultrasound exam: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. The picture can be printed to be looked at later.
    ENLARGEAbdominal ultrasound; drawing shows a child lying on an exam table during an abdominal ultrasound procedure. A technician is shown pressing a transducer (a device that makes sound waves that bounce off tissues inside the body) against the skin of the abdomen. A computer screen shows a sonogram (picture).
    Abdominal ultrasound. An ultrasound transducer connected to a computer is pressed against the skin of the abdomen. The transducer bounces sound waves off internal organs and tissues to make echoes that form a sonogram (computer picture).
  • CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
    ENLARGEComputed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen; drawing shows a child lying on a table that slides through the CT scanner, which takes x-ray pictures of the inside of the abdomen.
    Computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen. The child lies on a table that slides through the CT scanner, which takes x-ray pictures of the inside of the abdomen.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
    ENLARGEMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen; drawing shows a child lying on a table that slides into the MRI scanner, which takes pictures of the inside of the body. The pad on the child’s abdomen helps make the pictures clearer.
    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen. The child lies on a table that slides into the MRI scanner, which takes pictures of the inside of the body. The pad on the child’s abdomen helps make the pictures clearer.
  • Biopsy : The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. A biopsy is not always needed to diagnose a vascular tumor.

Childhood vascular tumors may be classified into four groups.

Benign tumors

Benign tumors are not cancer. This summary has information about the following benign vascular tumors:

  • Infantile hemangioma.
  • Congenital hemangioma.
  • Benign vascular tumors of the liver.
  • Spindle cell hemangioma.
  • Epithelioid hemangioma.
  • Pyogenic granuloma (lobular capillary hemangioma).
  • Angiofibroma.
  • Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma.

Intermediate (locally aggressive) tumors

Intermediate tumors that are locally aggressive often spread to the area around the tumor. This summary has information about the following locally aggressive vascular tumors:

  • Kaposiform hemangioendothelioma and tufted angioma.

Intermediate (rarely metastasizing) tumors

Intermediate (rarely metastasizing) tumors sometimes spread to other parts of the body. This summary has information about the following vascular tumors that rarely metastasize:

  • Pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma.
  • Retiform hemangioendothelioma.
  • Papillary intralymphatic angioendothelioma.
  • Composite hemangioendothelioma.
  • Kaposi sarcoma.

Malignant tumors

Malignant tumors are cancer. This summary has information about the following malignant vascular tumors:

  • Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma.
  • Angiosarcoma of soft tissue.