Over the past decade, I have been amazed at the growth in the field of vascular anomalies. The recognition of vascular birthmarks as a definned area of medicine is a relatively recent event.
Infantile hemangiomas (IHs) are the most common vascular tumors of infancy. While the majority regress without the need for intervention, approximately 10%, often site dependent, can cause serious complications and require treatment.
In a subset of patients, infantile hemangiomas may be associated with structural anomalies.
Congenital hemangiomas are rare solitary vascular tumors that do not proliferate after birth. They are characterized as either rapidly involuting congenital hemangiomas (RICHs) or noninvoluting congenital hemangiomas (NICHs) based on their clinical progression. NICHs have no associated complications, but are persistent.
The impressive, accelerated pace of genetic discovery over the last decade promises to clarify the historically challenging classification and understanding of vascular anomalies. Confusion has persisted because of the rarity and polymorphous clinical presentation of vascular anomalies and inconsistent use of terminology.