Glomuvenous Malformation | Diagnosis & Treatment

How are glomuvenous malformations diagnosed?

Your visit will start with a complete medical history and a physical exam. In most cases, the physician will be able to diagnose your child’s glomuvenous malformation (GVM) with a thorough examination. However, further testing will be necessary to determine the extent of the disease and therefore the best treatment course.

The best imaging test for seeing deeper lesions is an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). An MRI is a high-resolution scan that shows the exact location and depth of your child’s malformation and can identify abnormalities in nearby blood vessels.

Our team uses this information to develop customized treatment plans that will best target your child’s GVM.

How are glomuvenous malformations treated?

Treatment depends on how many lesions your child has, as well as their size, location and severity.

The primary goal of treatment is to relieve your child’s symptoms, such as the pain often associated with GVMs.

Our team will surgically remove a glomuvenous malformation whenever possible. However, because many GVMs tend to be large, deep or spread out, your child’s treatment course may include other options to shrink and lighten the lesion.

Treatments may include:

  • Sclerotherapy: This minimally invasive (non-surgical) treatment involves injecting a liquid medication into a vascular malformation that causes it to shrink over time.
  • Medication (sirolimus): This oral medication is an immunosuppressant that improves symptoms, including pain, and improves skin appearance. After treatment with sirolimus, GVMs tend to be softer and less discolored.
  • Surgery: Patients with small GVMs that can be completely removed are candidates for surgery.
  • Pulsed dye laser: This treatment uses a laser device that destroys abnormal blood vessels without damaging surrounding skin. It does not penetrate into deeper layers of the skin.

What is the long-term outlook for glomuvenous malformation?

Prognosis varies from one person to the next, depending on the size, location and severity of the malformations.

Because GVMs tend to become darker and thicker over time, they respond best to treatment when diagnosed early. Not all GVMs respond to treatments the same way. That is why our customized treatment approach takes into account your child’s unique needs and makes adjustments as needed.