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Tufted angioma

Benign blood vessel tumors

This is a rare disease picture consisting of blood vessel growths that are benign but can give complaints such as pain.

It usually occurs in childhood (25% in the first year, 60-70% for the 5th year of life). Clinically you see purple-red spots, usually on the upper body, neck, shoulders and sometimes the face. They are gradually larger (in 1-10 years) and sometimes they are smaller.

If the growths are great they can give problems involving platelets and thereby provide clotting problems. This is called Kasabach-Merritt syndrome.

Additional research can consist of a biopsy (piece of the skin) looked at under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis. At some places an MRI scan may also be used as well as further blood tests (particularly clotting and platelets).

Treatment consists of analgesic in the case of pain. Furthermore, corticosteroids, the spot surgically removed if it is small or possibly treating with laser therapy. Kasabach-Merritt syndrome patients may be given aspirin or plavix or in worse cases prednisone or vincristine.