Vascular lesions of the head and neck region in children constitute an interesting group of lesions that benefit immensely from imaging techniques. Imaging is essential for identification, characterization, and delineation of the extent of lesion and subsequent follow-up. Infantile hemangiomas, which are vascular tumors with a specific evolution pattern, constitute a large majority of these lesions. On the other hand, there are vascular malformations, which are anomalies of the vascular system, consisting of a range of vascular tissues associated with various flow patterns. When diagnosis is clinically evident, imaging should utilize non-radiation techniques and address the issues necessary for management. Timing and interpretation of imaging methods employed in assessing childhood vascular lesion should also take into consideration the natural history so that imaging is performed to address a specific question. This review highlights the typical appearance of a hemangioma and a group of vascular malformations of the head and neck. For descriptive purpose, an attempt has been made to group lesions into specific subsites, with each one having specific clinical significance. Cases included illustrate the spectrum of the disease ranging from classical form in young children to slightly differing manifestations of the disease in adolescents and adults. The illustrations also provide a novel way of presenting image data using volume-rendering techniques of 3D data. Multi-modality team interaction and management strategies of these complex lesions are also emphasized.
Keywords: Hemangioma, Head And Neck, Imaging, Vascular Malformation, Venous Malformation
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