Role of imagistic techniques in diagnosing soft-tissue vascular anomalies in pediatric population - a 5-year experience

Vol. 60 No. 2, 2019


Simona Cerbu, Teodora Smaranda Arghirescu, Maria Corina Stanciulescu, Cristian-Eugen Timofte, Elisa Mussuto, Elena Rodica Heredea, Ioana Delia Horhat, Emil Radu Iacob, Florin Birsasteanu, Eugen Sorin Boia

Soft-tissue vascular anomalies have a worldwide estimated prevalence of 4.5% in the pediatric population. From January 1, 2014 until December 31, 2018, imagistic and histological evaluations were performed in 214 patients aged between one day and 18 years old, who were diagnosed with different soft-tissue vascular anomalies in our Center. From the 214 patients included in the study, 36.45% (n=78) were males, 63.55% (n=136) were females and 37.38% (n=80) of the patients were less than one year of age at time of admission. Infantile hemangioma was the most frequent type of soft-tissue vascular anomaly (35.51%) and the face was the most frequent affected region (25.7%). Ultrasound (US) examination is the most used imaging technique due to its wide accessibility and for providing valuable information about the anatomical localization of the lesions, the type of vessels involved, distribution and density of vascularization. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used for assessing the extent of deep or large lesions, but it usually requires anesthesia. Computed tomography (CT) is useful when patients present contraindications to anesthesia and it has the advantage of a shorter image acquisition time. Histological studies have an important role in establishing the diagnosis even for the atypical cases of soft-tissue vascular anomalies. Furthermore, the prognosis depends on the histological type. In conclusion, there is a need for collaboration between the clinician, radiologist, pathologist and surgeon in order to establish a precise diagnosis and therapeutic strategy for each patient.

Corresponding author: Emil Radu Iacob, Lecturer, MD, PhD; e-mail:,; Ioana Delia Horhat, Assistant Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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