Vascular anomalies of the hand and wrist

Eugene T. Ek, Nina Suh, Michelle G. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Vascular malformations of the hand and wrist are uncommon. They develop from aberrations in angiogenic signaling during vascular development. Unlike hemangiomas, which are characterized by biphasic growth and slow spontaneous involution, vascular malformations continue to grow proportionally with the child. Management is dictated by classification of the vascular malformations, which is based on flow characteristics (ie, low, high) and predominant cell type (ie, venous, lymphatic, capillary, combined, arteriovenous). Initial management is conservative, with the goal of providing relief from pain and swelling. Sclerotherapy, laser treatment, and arterial embolization may be beneficial in well-selected patients. Surgery is indicated in cases of persistent pain and uncontrolled limb swelling leading to functional impairment and/or neurologic compression. The goals of surgery are to excise as much of the lesion as possible while avoiding injury to adjacent nerves, minimizing blood loss, and preventing distal limb ischemia. This mandates careful preoperative planning and meticulous technique. Adjuvant treatments may be warranted, as in the case of preoperative embolization in patients with high-flow lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-360
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

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