Cutaneous vascular proliferations. Part III. Malignant neoplasms, other cutaneous neoplasms with significant vascular component, and disorders erroneously considered as vascular neoplasms

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 Feb;38(2 Pt 1):143-75; quiz 176-8. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(98)70237-3.


In this third and last part of our review of cutaneous vascular proliferations we include malignant vascular neoplasms and a group of heterogeneous cutaneous neoplasms characterized by a significant vascular component. We also review some disorders that, in our opinion, have been erroneously considered as vascular neoplasms. We review the epidemiologic, histogenetic, clinical, and histopathologic aspects of Kaposi's sarcoma in its four distinctive variants (classic, African-endemic, immunosuppressive drug-associated, and AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma). There is still controversy about whether Kaposi's sarcoma represents a reactive vascular proliferation or a true neoplastic proliferation. In any event, most authors believe that Kaposi's sarcoma does not produce metastatic disease, but rather develops in multifocal fashion. However, Kaposi's sarcoma may cause death, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, Dabska's tumor, and retiform hemangioendothelioma are examples of low-grade angiosarcoma. In contrast, cutaneous angiosarcomas, including the clinical variants of angiosarcoma of face and scalp in elderly patients, angiosarcoma associated with lymphedema, and radiation-induced angiosarcoma are highly aggressive neoplasms with poor prognosis and most patients die within a short period after presentation. A group of benign and relatively frequent cutaneous neoplasms, including multinucleate cell angiohistiocytoma, angiofibroma, angioleiomyoma, angiolipoma, cutaneous angiolipoleiomyoma, and cutaneous angiomyxoma are here covered because of their significant vascular component. Finally, we review briefly a series of cutaneous disorders that have been erroneously considered as vascular neoplasms. Kimura's disease is an inflammatory reactive condition of unknown origin, "benign" angioendotheliomatosis is a reactive intravascular proliferation of endothelial cells that occurs in the skin as a response to a variety of stimuli, "malignant" angioendotheliomatosis is an intravascular lymphoma, and acral pseudolymphomatous angiokeratoma of children (APACHE) is better interpreted as a pseudolymphoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiofibroma / pathology
  • Angiolipoma / pathology
  • Angiomyolipoma / pathology
  • Hemangioendothelioma / pathology
  • Hemangioendothelioma, Epithelioid / pathology
  • Hemangiosarcoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Myxoma / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Vascular Tissue / pathology*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / pathology
  • Skin Diseases, Vascular / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vascular Neoplasms / pathology