Hemangioma – is a tumor of a benign nature, characterized by proliferation of cells on the inner surface of blood vessels. It is one of the most common soft tissue tumors and affects 3% to 10% of the population.
Known risk factors for the development of hemangiomas are:
- female (women tend to form hemangiomas 2.5 times more often than men);
- Caucasian race;
- frequent pregnancies.
There are isolated, multiple, superficial, deep, and combined hemangiomas. At the beginning of the development of the tumor, a bright spot is observed, covered with a network of dilated small capillary vessels. Subsequently, the area, consistency and color intensity of the spot changes.
The evolution of hemangioma starts with a fast phase of initial growth, followed by a period of stabilization, and then a slow spontaneous regression. The growth phase can last up to 6 months, and the regression phase from 3 to 7 years.
Causes of Hemangioma
The causes of hemangiomas are not fully understood. There is a hypothesis according to which genes can trigger tumor growth, the trigger for which is possible hypoxia. Also, scientists suggest the incomplete development of blood vessels as potential causes of hemangiomas. It is also believed that placental cells and hemangiomas have similar cellular markers. And this confirms the theory of "benign metastases" that occur in the placenta. Apparently, stem cells — endothelial progenitor cells (EPA) —which are 15 times higher than normal during hemangioma, also play a role in the development of vascular tumors.
Hemangiomas can appear anywhere on the body, but mainly they are located on the head and neck. In general, most tumors are not disturbing. In the phase of active growth, hemangioma can affect important vital functions, depending on localization, complicated by the appearance of ulcers and bleeding.
Diagnosis of hemangioma
As a rule, the diagnosis of a tumor is not difficult. In doubtful cases, instrumental studies are necessary, especially with deep lesions. Doppler examination reveals a mass with an extremely heterogeneous echostructure and many vascular formations that have arterial flow. In rare cases, resort to nuclear magnetic resonance, which allows you to detect the connection of hemangiomas with adjacent structures or to find conjugate anomalies.
Hemangioma complications can occur at different evolutionary stages of the disease. In 5% of cases, ulceration, bleeding and infectious processes are observed in the initial phase.
These phenomena often affect the area of the lips and genitals. In the regressive phase, possible complications are represented by scars. Sometimes ulceration and secondary infection leads to the formation of large areas of necrosis with the destruction of the soft tissues of the face, cartilage of the nose or ear.
Other complications of an aesthetically functional type are associated with compression mechanisms, depending on the location and size of the tumors. Hemangiomas of the eyelid can cause visual defects. Most often this is astigmatism, due to secondary deformation of the cornea, functional amblyopia («lazy eye»), due to the complete or partial closure of the affected eye.
Perhaps the development of respiratory failure, in the case of subglottic hemangioma. It is extremely important to begin earlier treatment in order to avoid general obstruction.
When starting treatment for hemangiomas, several factors should be considered: tumor size, patient age, aesthetic discomfort, psychological consequences and therapeutic risks. Of course, this disease requires a serious attitude on the part of the patient, and the advice of a qualified specialist to assess the condition and prescribe appropriate treatment. In the Bogoliuby MC hemangiomas are successfully removed using the Italian neodymium laser Deka Synehro FT.