Vascular Malformations

What are vascular malformations?

Vascular malformations are congenital lesions of the central nervous system, resulting from abnormal development of arteries and veins. They often present themselves or with headaches, seizures and stroke like manifestations.
Vascular malformations include:  

How are Vascular Malformations Diagnosed? 

Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) play an important role in diagnosis and evaluation of vascular malformations. Ultrasound is used for the initial evaluation and during treatment. MRI evaluates large and deep lesions that can involve critical structures such as the airway, brain or eyes.

How are Vascular Malformations Treated? 

Vascular malformations may be treated by sclerotherapy which is performed by interventional radiologists. Using ultrasound and x-ray guidance, the malformation is injected with a sclerosant (an irritating medication) that causes inflammation within the lesion and over time causes the lesions to shrink in size.

We provide the most up-to-date methods in treatment of childhood vascular malformations. Our team of pediatric doctors, technicians, nurses and child life specialists are experts in addressing the special needs of children, focusing on pain control and alleviating anxiety. Our procedures are performed with sedation to assure patient comfort.

Every vascular malformation is unique; therefore, an initial consultation and examination with an interventional radiologist is performed prior to treatment.

vascular malformations

What to Expect on the Day of a Sclerotherapy Procedure:

  • An ultrasound will be performed prior to the procedure. 
  • The procedure will take approximately 1 hour, but can be longer for complicated cases. 
  • Most children are able to go home the same day, but some may be kept in the hospital overnight for observation. 
  • Usually there is only minimal post procedure pain, controlled with Tylenol® if needed.

Interventional radiology is an integral part of a multidisciplinary team specializing in the treatment of vascular malformations (vascular birthmarks) in children and infants that includes plastic surgeons, dermatologists and pediatric surgeons.


LogoProviding a full spectrum of care for Neurovascular disorders in children

Part of the hospital's world-renowned Brain Institute, which is consistently ranked among the top programs in the nation for pediatric neurology and neurosurgery, the Nicklaus Children's Hospital's Neurovascular Center of Excellence is one of only a few centers of its kind in the nation and is the only center in South Florida specializing in treatment of children with vascular malformations and stroke.

This page was last updated on: 3/5/2018 4:02:24 PM

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