Venous Malformation | Diagnosis and Testing

How is a venous malformation diagnosed?

In many cases, a complete medical history and a thorough physical exam provide enough information to diagnose a venous malformation (VM).

What tests may my child need?

In some cases, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following imaging tests to help determine the correct diagnosis and the appropriate next steps in treatment:

  • Ultrasound (also called ultrasonography): An ultrasound helps your doctor see your child’s venous system to examine abnormalities.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This high-resolution scan can confirm the diagnosis, and allow your doctor to determine the size of the malformation and plan the next steps in treatment.
  • Computerized tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan): Your doctor may recommend a CT scan to examine a VM that’s affecting your child’s bones.

After all necessary tests are completed, the care team will review and discuss your child's condition then meet with you and your family to outline the best treatment options.

We advise consulting a vascular anomalies specialist if:

  • A VM in a critical location, such as around her eye, face or neck.
  • A VM involves the hands, feet or an internal organ, such as the gastrointestinal tract, liver or brain.