Current concepts in diagnosis and treatment of venous malformations

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2014 Oct;42(7):1300-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2014.03.014. Epub 2014 Apr 1.


Introduction: Venous malformations are the most common type of vascular malformation, usually detected at birth or during puberty. By occurring during human growth or through localized trauma, pain, functional impairment and aesthetic disfigurement is often observed. Ultrasonography, Doppler flow Imaging, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging are the most informative techniques which reveal the extent of tissue involvement and differentiate between high and low flow anomalies. Therapeutic options for treatment of venous malformations are sclerotherapy with alcohol, ethoxysclerol and bleomycin, laser therapy (Nd:YAG), surgery and combined therapeutic modalities. The aim of percutaneous sclerotherapy is the successive reduction of the volume of the lesion by aseptic inflammation.

Patients and methods: This is a review of 51 patients with venous malformation treated by the Interdisciplinary Center for Vascular Anomalies at the University Hospital Tübingen, (Germany), from July, 2002 until January, 2007. The mean age of first consultation in our outpatient department was 26.4 years (median). 12 patients were treated by sclerotherapy with highly concentrated alcohol, 9 by surgery, and 7 by laser therapy. In some cases we combined different treatments. 9 patients had only sclerotherapy, while 3 had a combination of pre-operative sclerotherapy and surgery.

Results: We obtained positive results in patients treated with sclerotherapy and combined sclerotherapy and surgery.

Conclusion: Sclerotherapy is safe (under fluoroscopic control), efficient, and can be repeated multiple times. Therefore, it should be considered as first-line treatment in venous malformations. A combination of a sclerotherapy with surgery is also useful in many cases.

Keywords: Aethoxysclerol; Laser therapy; Sclerotherapy; Vascular malformation; Venous malformations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bleomycin / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Ethanol / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laser Therapy / methods
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polidocanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Sclerosing Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Sclerotherapy / methods
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler / methods
  • Vascular Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Vascular Malformations / surgery
  • Vascular Malformations / therapy
  • Young Adult


  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Polidocanol
  • Bleomycin
  • Ethanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols