What is a vascular malformation?

A vascular malformation is an architectural flaw or anomaly that occurred during the construction of a blood vessel. They occur in different shapes: malformations of capillaries, of veins, of arteries and of lymph vessels. They are present at birth and their growth synchronizes with that of the child. The cause of their occurrence is unknown. There are indications that susceptibility to vascular anomalies may be hereditarily determined. A well-known malformation is the so-called ‘port wine stain’ (capillary malformation). More generally they are referred to as ‘birthmarks’.

Could vascular malformations develop into cancer?

This very rarely happens. Only a few cases are described in specialist literature.

Is the ‘stork bite’ also a vascular malformation?

A stork bite is a vascular anomaly on the neck, forehead, or eyelid. When not located on the neck, these are also called ‘salmon patches’ or ‘angels’ kisses’. They are found on 30 per cent of newborn babies. Probably it is not a genuine vascular malformations but a widening (dilation) of capillaries of the skin. Stork bites usually disappear before the child is a year old. By contrast, abnormalities on the skin of the neck often stay visible well into adulthood. .

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