Vascular anomalies are frequent complex disorders that appear in infants and children. Their classification in two major groups, tumors and malformations, helps understanding the main characteristics of both types.
However, both groups contain several other types that need as well to be differentiated, and this can be done by clinical, imaging or histopathological approach. Tumors are based on cellular proliferation, while malformations are represented by aberrant vessels. In order to differentiate MRI and MRA are the most used imaging resources, but the biopsy is the most accurate form of diagnosis and is realized when in doubt. Regarding the treatment, tumors are mostly medically treated and malformations benefit of sclerotherapy in the majority of cases. Lasertherapy, radiotherapy and surgery are options taken into account in a few specific situations.
This review has the aim to underline the most important clinical characteristics of each anomaly, the most used imaging diagnosis and, last but not least, it briefly presents the cardinal treatment approach of both groups.