Objectives/hypothesis: Vascular malformations involving the mandible and maxilla are uncommon, and no uniform treatment of these lesions has been defined. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of treating vascular malformations with a multidisciplinary approach and emphasis on endovascular therapy.
Study design: Retrospective chart review of patients.
Methods: The treatment of 31 patients (13 male and 18 female patients) with mandibular and/or maxillary vascular malformations presenting between 1979 to 2001 was reviewed.
Results: Thirteen patients (42%) presented with mandibular vascular malformations, and an equal number of patients had maxillary vascular malformations. Five patients had involvement of both the mandible and maxilla. Twenty-six patients (84%) had adjacent soft tissue extension, whereas five patients had a vascular malformation isolated either to the mandible (four cases) or maxilla (one case). Twenty-six cases consisted of arterial vascular malformations, and five patients had venous and capillary types. Twenty-five patients (81%) were treated with embolization only, whereas six patients (19%) underwent combined embolization and surgical resection. "Cure" was defined as the complete eradication of disease or permanent resolution of symptoms with complete devascularization by embolization. The cure rates were 70% for mandibular malformations and 46% for maxillary lesions. None of the combined maxillary/mandibular lesions were cured, but all achieved improvement or stabilization of symptoms. The follow-up range was 1 to 22 years with an average follow-up of 6.7 years.
Conclusion: The location and extent of vascular malformations dictate the treatment and resulting success. Endovascular therapy alone can effectively "cure" most mandibular and maxillary vascular malformations with limited soft tissue involvement. Extensive vascular malformations can be stabilized with control of symptoms, but eradication of the vascular malformation is unlikely even with combined surgery and embolization.