Evidence-Based Management of Vascular Malformations
20 April 2016 (online)
Vascular malformations of the head and neck are complex lesions that are notoriously difficult to manage. Treatment of these lesions often requires a multispecialty and multimodal approach. In the modern era of evidence-based medicine, it has become imperative for clinicians to incorporate evidence-based treatment algorithms into their everyday practices. With general widespread inundation of the literature with levels IV and V clinical evidence, however, it is often difficult to draw meaningful conclusions that can be practically applied to the clinical question at hand. When asking how best to manage the most common vascular malformations, we are faced with this large volume of lower level studies conducted in drastically different ways without consistency in outcomes reporting, thus making direct comparison nearly impossible. Furthermore, much of the evidence shows mixed results, adding to confusion over what the optimal evidence-based treatment approaches truly are. In attempt to derive consensus from available literature discussing the management of vascular malformations, we reviewed the current literature detailing modern-day treatment approaches for lymphatic malformations, venous malformations, and arteriovenous malformations of the head and neck.