Children's Hospital Colorado

Vascular Malformations in Pediatric Primary Care (S1:E13)

Virtually every pediatric practitioner will encounter interesting lesions, birthmarks, lumps and bumps that cannot yet be classified. These vascular anomalies in children are the result of abnormally formed blood vessels and can be broken down into two major categories.

Vascular tumors occur when cells grow and/or divide inappropriately. Pediatric vascular malformations develop when the body "misreads" its genetic blueprint. This second category of vascular anomalies doesn't include cancerous tumors, and these types of malformations usually have little to no impact on the child's quality of life.

Listen to our pediatric hematology expert discuss pediatric vascular anomalies

In this episode of Charting Pediatrics, Taizo Nakano, MD, discusses the most common vascular anomalies in the primary care setting. As Dr. Nakano explains, vascular anomalies don't have a true "medical home" because the field is still in its early stages of development. As a pediatric health provider, this episode will provide you with important background knowledge needed to address vascular anomalies in children.

Dr. Nakano is the Medical Director of the Vascular Anomalies Center at Children's Hospital Colorado and an assistant professor of pediatrics, hematology and oncology and bone marrow transplant at the University of Colorado's School of Medicine.

In this episode, our pediatric experts explore:

  • The most common presentations of vascular anomalies in children
  • The two major categories of a pediatric vascular anomaly
  • The benefits of having a "medical home," like the Vascular Anomalies Center at Children's Colorado, for pediatric vascular malformations
  • The pathophysiology and genetics of abnormal lesions in young patients
  • Different types of lab tests that private practices can complete to help providers differentiate between ideologies
  • Vascular emergencies that should be top-of-mind for primary care providers (PCPs)
  • The features of a dangerous lesion that requires prompt medical attention and intervention
  • The top things PCPs should be concerned about when diagnosing vascular anomalies in children
  • The different quality of life markers, such as pain, mobility or overgrowth pediatricians can assess when deciding how to best treat and manage pediatric vascular malformations
  • When PCPs should refer a child with a vascular malformation to a specialist
  • Why peace of mind from a specialist can be so important to worried families
  • Tips for setting parents up for success when their child visits a multidisciplinary clinic for treatment
  • The exciting future that’s in store for the field of vascular anomalies

Treating pediatric vascular anomalies at Children's Colorado

Children with vascular anomalies are treated by the Vascular Anomalies Center at Children's Colorado. Our interdisciplinary team includes specialists from otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), plastic surgery, dermatology, hematology, pediatric general surgery and interventional radiology. Each of our specialists attend appointments. This minimizes the number of visits needed to evaluate and treat a child’s condition. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.