What is a vascular tumor?

Vascular tumors occur in different variants. Vascular tumors basically consist of solid space requirements with a proportion of blood vessels. They are basically divided into benign (benign), locally aggressive and malignant (malignant) tumours.


These are solid, often progressive vascular tumors based on true cell proliferation. Unlike vascular malformations, they do not consist of vascular or spongy, liquid-filled cavities, but form a solid tumour. Accordingly, they are neither soft to the touch nor compressible. Vascular tumours can be congenital (e.g. congenital haemangioma or Kaposi’s haemangioendothelioma) or can develop later on tissue that appears healthy before.

By far the most common vascular tumour is infantile haemangioma, a benign tumour possibly caused by lost stem cells, which about three percent of all newborns develop. Premature babies are affected even more frequently.
The majority of hemangiomas are harmless red capillary tumors that affect the skin surface or the skin and subcutaneous tissue.


The majority of hemangiomas do not require treatment. If the hemangioma is located in a location that is unfavourable for the function or external appearance (e.g. eyelid, eye socket, face, ano-genitals, hand or foot), treatment should be carried out as early and consistently as possible. This also applies to extensive (segmental) haemangiomas as well as to involvement of internal organs or the respiratory tract. The discovery of the efficacy of the beta-blocker propranolol has greatly changed the therapy of infantile haemangioma, so that laser therapy and surgical resections are less necessary.

Less frequent are congenital hemangiomas, which are already fully developed at birth and spontaneously disappear completely, partially or not at all, and which are much more difficult to treat.

The most important representative of the locally aggressive vascular tumours is the caposiform haemangioendothelioma (KHE), which can cause dangerous blood coagulation disorders (Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon).
Malignant vascular tumors such as angiosarcoma are much rarer and require all areas of oncological therapy.

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