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Microvenular hemangioma
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Microvenular hemangioma

Contributors: Mack Su, Belinda Tan MD, PhD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Microvenular hemangioma, also known as microcapillary angioma or microcapillary hemangioma, is a rare, benign, acquired vascular proliferation. It typically presents as a solitary, asymptomatic, purple to red papule, plaque, or nodule on an extremity or the trunk. Young adults are most commonly affected, and there is a slight female predominance. Occasionally, there may be pruritus, tenderness, or multiple lesions.

The etiology of this vascular growth is unclear. No clear predisposing medical history or risk factors have been identified. There have been case reports of young women who developed microvenular hemangiomas who recently changed hormonal contraceptives or were pregnant. In addition, multiple microvenular hemangiomas have been reported in a patient with POEMS syndrome (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, and skin changes).

Most microvenular hemangiomas grow slowly and stabilize in size, typically less than 2 cm in diameter. They do not recur after excision.


D18.01 – Hemangioma of skin and subcutaneous tissue

403964007 – Microvenular hemangioma

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

If solitary:
  • Lobular capillary hemangioma (pyogenic granuloma) – Eruptive and ulcerated, possible history of trauma.
  • Hemangioma and variants – Capillary / infantile, Tufted angioma, Targetoid hemosiderotic hemangioma, etc.
  • Common acquired nevus
  • Dermatofibroma
  • Non-AIDS Kaposi sarcoma (especially patch stage) – Distinct histologic features, human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) positive, some are associated with AIDS (see AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma).
  • Angiosarcoma of skin
  • Multinucleate cell angiohistiocytoma
If multiple:
  • Non-AIDS Kaposi sarcoma (especially patch stage) – Distinct histologic features, HHV-8 positive, some are associated with AIDS (see AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma).
  • Bacillary angiomatosis – Resembles lobular capillary hemangioma, patient has HIV.
  • Vasculitis
  • Pigmented purpuric dermatitis (see Capillaritis)
  • Reactive angioendotheliomatosis (see Angioendotheliomatosis)
  • Pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta
  • Lymphomatoid papulosis
  • Eruptive fibrohistiocytic proliferations – Dermatofibroma, multiple histiocytomas.
  • Eruptive leiomyomas (see Cutaneous leiomyoma)
  • Multinucleate cell angiohistiocytoma
  • Drug eruption (see Drug-induced non-palpable purpura)
  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia cutis

Best Tests

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Last Reviewed:11/12/2020
Last Updated:11/12/2020
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Microvenular hemangioma
A medical illustration showing key findings of Microvenular hemangioma : Face, Fingers, Purple color, Red color, Trunk, Smooth papules, Smooth plaques, Legs
Clinical image of Microvenular hemangioma - imageId=6598976. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A violaceous and a pink scaly papule on the finger.'
A violaceous and a pink scaly papule on the finger.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.