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Phlebology. 2010 Oct;25(5):224-35. doi: 10.1258/phleb.2009.009041.

Venous malformation: update on aetiopathogenesis, diagnosis and management.

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Department of Dermatology, Université de Caen Basse Normandie, CHU Caen, Caen, France.


The aim of this review was to discuss the current knowledge on aetiopathogenesis, diagnosis and therapeutic management of venous malformations (VMs). VMs are slow-flow vascular anomalies. They are simple, sporadic or familial (cutaneomucosal VMs or glomuvenous malformations), combined (e.g. capillaro-venous and capillaro-lymphaticovenous malformations) or syndromic (Klippel-Trenaunay, blue rubber bleb naevus and Maffucci). Genetic studies have identified causes of familial forms and of 40% of sporadic VMs. Another diagnostic advancement is the identification of elevated D-dimer level as the first biomarker of VMs within vascular anomalies. Those associated with pain are often responsive to low-molecular-weight heparin, which should also be used to avoid disseminated intravascular coagulopathy secondary to intervention, especially if fibrinogen level is low. Finally, development of a modified sclerosing agent, ethylcellulose-ethanol, has improved therapy. It is efficient and safe, and widens indications for sclerotherapy to sensitive and dangerous areas such as hands, feet and periocular area.

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