This article will help you read and understand your pathology report for hemangioma.
by Robyn Ndikumana MD BScN and Allison Osmond, MD FRCPC, reviewed on June 13, 2019
Normal blood vessels
Blood vessels are hollow tubes that move blood around your body. Blood vessels that move blood away from the heart and towards the body are called arteries and arterioles. Blood vessels that bring blood back to the heart from the body are called veins or venules. The smallest blood vessels are called capillaries. They move blood inside an organ.
What is a hemangioma?
A hemangioma is a non-cancerous tumour made from abnormal blood vessels. Hemangiomas can start anywhere on the body, although they are most commonly found in the skin, head and neck, and liver. These tumours range in size from very small (1-2 millimeter) very large (over 20 centimeter).
Without a microscope, hemangiomas look red to blue in color, and there tends to be a clear border between the tumour and the surrounding normal tissue.
Hemangiomas can develop at any age. A hemangioma that is present at birth is called a congenital hemangioma. In contrast, a hemangioma that develops in the first few days or weeks after birth is called an infantile hemangioma. Other types of hemangiomas develop later in life.
Some types of hemangiomas can decrease in size or even disappear on their own over time. This type of change is called regression and it is more commonly seen in infantile hemangiomas.
Hemangiomas that do not disappear on their own can be surgically removed. Some medications are also available to help shrink the tumour.
Types of hemangiomas
There are different kinds of hemangiomas based on when the tumour developed and the look of the tumour with and without a microscope. The most common types are:
All types of hemangiomas are non-cancerous. Some types are likely to disappear on their own while other types may have to be removed surgically.