Case Report

Massive head and neck vascular malformation traversing multiple compartments: a case report

Jennifer F. Ha1,2, Carmen Chen1, David A. Zopf1

1Department of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
2Department of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Perth Children’s Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia


Capillary malformations (CM) are congenital low-flow vascular malformations that affect 0.3% of the general population. They are most commonly treated by pulsed-dye laser (PDL), which is most effective at a young age. The absence of treatment can lead to nodularity and hypertrophy. We report a case of a 6-year-old girl who has an extensive left facial and cervical CM that extends to the oral cavity and external auditory canal on the ipsilateral side. She had PDL as an infant that successfully lightened the color of her CM. She has been asymptomatic for at least four years and has since been treated conservatively. CM treatment options include conservative management, surgical excision and PDL treatments. In this paper, we report a case of successful conservative management of a massive head and neck CM. PDL for CM is most effective and provides optimal results when done at an early age. Conservative management is recommended for asymptomatic patients.

Keywords: conservative management, laryngopharynx, lasers, nasopharynx, oral cavity, vascular malformations