Semin intervent Radiol 2017; 34(03): 225-232
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1604295
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Classification of Vascular Anomalies: An Update

Jack E. Steiner1, Beth A. Drolet1, 2
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
11 September 2017 (online)


Vascular anomalies present both a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to physicians. Identification of these lesions is difficult due to their immense phenotypic variability, and naming conventions for vascular anomalies have historically been inconsistent. Terms such as “hemangioma” are informative when used correctly, but can cause confusion and miscommunication if applied indiscriminately to all vascular anomalies. Accuracy in classification is essential, as both disease course and therapeutic options differ greatly depending on the particular vascular anomaly present. In order for clinicians to properly diagnose and treat patients with these diseases, a unified nomenclature must be employed. This section provides an update on the current classification of vascular anomalies, with clinical descriptions of the most commonly encountered lesions, and clarifies the ambiguous nomenclature present in the existing literature.