Testing & Diagnosis for Vascular Malformations, Tumors, and Hemangiomas in Children

For all vascular anomalies, your child's physician will perform a careful medical history and physical examination. 

Most hemangiomas are easily identified without any diagnostic testing. Deeper lesions may require the following diagnostic tests to evaluate the extent of the hemangioma:

   •   Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses
       a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to
       produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.

   •   Ultrasound - an imaging technology that uses high frequency sound waves to view internal organs and structures
       and produce diagnostic pictures of the human body. Ultrasound is sometimes useful to detect soft tissue masses.

Often times vascular anomalies are not found until they hemorrhage.  If your physician suspects a vascular anomaly, particularly an AVM, they may perform the following diagnostic tests:

   •   Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

   •   Computerized tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a
       combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both
       horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the
       bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.