Testing & Diagnosis for Kaposiform Hemangioendothelioma in Children

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Testing & diagnosis of kaposiform hemangioendothelioma in children

How is kaposiform hemangioendothelioma diagnosed?

The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. An experienced vascular anomalies specialist can help tell the difference between KHE and other vascular anomalies.
Most often, KHE is diagnosed through a complete medical history, a thorough physical exam, and one or more of the following tests:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) — This checks your child’s platelet level. Other blood studies may also be helpful, including coagulation and fibrinogen.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — This high-resolution scan shows how large your child’s tumor is as well as its relationship to nearby muscles, nerves, bones and other blood vessels.
  • Ultrasound (also called ultrasonography) — An ultrasound also shows the size of the tumor and allows your doctor to see how much blood is flowing through it.
  • Biopsy — If the results of the physical exam and imaging tests are not conclusive, your doctor may take a biopsy of your child’s lesion. A biopsy is a simple surgical procedure where a doctor removes a small tissue sample. Examining the tumor's cells under a microscope allows the physician to determine definitively whether your child has KHE.

After we complete all necessary tests, our experts meet to review and discuss what they have learned about your child's condition. Then we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best treatment options for KHE.

Kaposiform hemangioendothelioma: Reviewed by Cameron C. Trenor III, MD, © Boston Children's Hospital, 2016

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