In 36 patients, facial vascular anomalies were studied with 46 magnetic resonance (MR) examinations, 9 angiograms, and 5 computed tomographic scans. All lesions were categorized into classic pathologic groups on the basis of radiologic and pathologic studies, clinical examination, and behavior. Overall, 2 juvenile hemangiomas, 3 capillary malformations (port-wine stains), 18 venous malformations, 9 lymphatic malformations, and 4 arteriovenous malformations were found. MR imaging was superior to computed tomography and angiography for demonstrating the precise anatomic extent of the facial vascular anomalies and their relationship to the adjacent soft tissues but was inferior to computed tomography for demonstrating radiopaque structures such as trophic bone changes and phleboliths. MR imaging was also inferior to angiography in determining the nidus and the exact nature of collateral vascular structures in arteriovenous malformations. MR studies confirmed the clinically suspected diagnosis of facial vascular anomalies and demonstrated typical characteristics for each type of lesion. MR imaging is an ideal initial technique to triage patients with facial vascular anomalies for appropriate management, including observation, endovascular therapy, or surgical excision.
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