Venous and lymphatic malformations (VM and LM respectively) are types of congenital vascular anomalies, which are present at birth. These malformations can cause a number of clinical complications including pain, bleeding and impairment of the function of the affected area. Many people living with either VMs or LMs have disfigurement, which can have a meaningful psychological and social impact.
Cutaneous VMs are characterized by overgrown, disorganized veins near the skin, and they may look like a blue discoloration of the skin.
Cutaneous LMs are fluid-filled sacs that do not drain properly due to abnormalities in the lymphatic system, and they tend to become infected and may require repeated antibiotic treatments. Cutaneous LMs often lie just under the skin or involve other tissues close to the skin.
Both VM and LM channels have little to no flow and are susceptible to the formation of clots, also known as coagulopathy.
Current treatment options are limited to surgery, sclerotherapy, laser treatments, and compressive garments. There are no pharmacological therapies currently approved for people with cutaneous VM and LM.