Venous malformations: classification, development, diagnosis, and interventional radiologic management

Radiol Clin North Am. 2008 May;46(3):545-97, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2008.02.008.


Venous malformations are categorized as low-flow vascular malformations within the domain of vascular anomalies and are the most common vascular malformation encountered clinically. Venous malformations are by definition present at birth, undergo pari passu growth, and present clinically because of symptoms related to mass effect or stasis. Although diagnosis can usually be made by clinical history and examination, differentiation from other vascular and nonvascular entities often requires an imaging work-up that includes ultrasound, CT, MR imaging, and diagnostic phlebography. All decisions regarding imaging work-up and decision to treat must be coordinated though referral and discussions with a multidisciplinary team and be based on clearly defined clinical indications. Percutaneous image-guided sclerotherapy has become the mainstay of treatment for venous malformations and involves the introduction of any one of a number of endothelial-cidal sclerosants into the vascular spaces of the lesion, with each sclerosant possessing its own unique spectrum of advantages and disadvantages.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Angiography / methods
  • Child
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Phlebography / methods*
  • Radiography, Interventional*
  • Sclerotherapy / methods*
  • Vascular Malformations* / classification
  • Vascular Malformations* / diagnosis
  • Vascular Malformations* / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular Malformations* / embryology
  • Vascular Malformations* / therapy
  • Veins / abnormalities*