The term hemangioma refers to the common tumor of infancy that has a proliferative endothelium, and exhibits rapid postnatal growth and slow regression during childhood; this tumor never appears in an adolescent or adult.
Whereas vascular malformations are comprised of abnormally formed channels that are lined by stable endothelium, present at birth, never regress and often expand.
Vascular anomalies can be classified into two unique groups:-
Regression is complete in 50% of children by age 5 years and in 70% by age 7 years, with continued improvement until age 10 to 12 years.
The hemangioma may persist in the form of residual tumor, loose skin, telangiectasias, or scarring.
Hemangiomas can be superficial, deep, or visceral in location
Superficial lesions: often exhibit the classic crimson color of the so-called strawberry hemangioma.
Deep lesions: Are those within the deep dermis or subcutaneous tissues often present as pale blue or purple masses that may be confused with venous malformations.
Visceral lesions: Are not apparent on physical examination, and in 50% of cases, there are no accompanying cutaneous hemangiomas. In this setting, their presence may only be suggested by physiologic findings such as hepatomegaly, congestive heart failure, or stridor.