Classification of benign vascular lesions: History, current nomenclature, and suggestions for imagers

Mark J. Kransdorf, Mark D. Murphey, Julie C. Fanburg-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Although the appropriate terminology for the classification of presumed vascular lesions may be subspecialty dependent, working together to identify a unifying concept based on clinical, pathologic, and radiologic parameters would be best for interdisciplinary communication and best for patient care. Those who use a particular system do so because it works well for them. Accordingly, we use the term "hemangioma" in its broadest sense, as suggested by Weiss and Gold-blum [3], to describe benign nonreactive vascular lesions, acknowledging the difficulty in distinguishing between tumors and malformations while recognizing that some of our hemangiomas may represent malformations. Review of the literature dealing with the nomenclature of vascular lesions will show multiple letters to the editor criticizing various authors' choices of nomenclature. Because none of the current classification schemes are universally accepted, interdiscipline disagreement may not resolve difficulties in the classification of these benign vascular lesions. Until a consensus classification is adopted, a gentler, more tolerant approach would better serve us all, and our hope is that a unifying concept can be adopted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-11
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Hemangioma
  • Soft tissue
  • Tumor
  • Vascular malformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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