Key Difference – Angioma vs Hemangioma
Angiomas are a very common type of benign tumors. In spite of having a somewhat frightful name, they usually do not require any treatments and spontaneously regress within several months. Hemangiomas are one variety of angiomas that are defined as tumors characterized by increased numbers of normal or abnormal blood filled vessels. Thus, the key difference between angioma and hemangioma is that the term angioma is used to describe a broad set of benign tumors having different origins while the term hemangioma is used specifically to recognize the benign tumors composed of blood vessels.
What is Angioma?
An angioma is a benign growth made up of blood vessels or lymphatic vessels arranged in an abnormal pattern. There are different types of angiomas such as hemangiomas, lymphangiomas, and spider angiomas.
Features of Angioma
- Purple or red in color
- Usually found on the skin
These tumors usually disappear within few months. Although medical attention is not required, removal of angiomas by surgical excision is done frequently for cosmetic reasons. The exact mechanism of pathogenesis of this condition has not been understood, but a significant correlation with the decline of the liver functions has been observed.
Spider angiomas have got their name because of their characteristic appearance with prong like extensions protruding from the margins of the lesions. Cherry angiomas have a dark red color and are usually raised above the skin level.
Hemangiomas and lymphangiomas are the two forms of angiomas with a relatively high clinical significance.
Lymphangiomas are the counterparts of hemangiomas which are discussed under the topic “What is Hemangioma?” below. There are two main types of lymphangiomas as simple/capillary lymphangiomas and cavernous lymphangiomas. Capillary lymphangiomas are pedunculated lesions that are predominantly seen in the head, neck and axillary subcutaneous tissues. The only histological feature that differentiates capillary lymphangiomas from capillary hemangiomas is the absence of red cells in the lymphatic vessels in capillary lymphangiomas. Cavernous lymphangiomas (cystic hygromas) are typically found in the neck or axillae of the children. Numerous cavernous lymphangiomas in the axillary region is a feature of Turner syndrome.
What is Hemangioma?
Hemangiomas are an extremely common variety of tumors characterized by increased numbers of normal or abnormal blood filled vessels. They have a high rate of incidence during infancy and childhood and constitute a staggering 7% of all benign tumors of the particular age group.
Usually, hemangiomas are localized lesions appearing in the head and neck region. It is rarely possible to have these tumors with an extensive spread in which case they are recognized as angiomatosis. A majority of hemangiomas have a hepatic origin. Although there is a possibility of malignant transformation, the risk is significantly low.
Several histological forms of hemangiomas have been described,
These are the commonest type of hemangiomas and usually occur in the epidermal and dermal tissues or in the internal organs such as kidneys and liver. Histological examination of these tumors shows a network of capillaries with a scant stroma.
This is another common form of hemangiomas, which as the name implies, is seen among the patients of pediatric age group. Because of their peculiar appearance, they are also called the “Strawberry tumors”.
Unlike capillary hemangiomas, cavernous hemangiomas are composed of large and thick walled blood vessels. They penetrate into the deeper layers at the site of origin. These tumors do not relapse spontaneously. Large vascular spaces filled with blood along with an abundance of connective tissues can be observed through the microscope. Thrombosis can take place inside the blood vessels of cavernous hemangiomas owing to the frequent fluid stasis and this can result in dystrophic calcification of the vascular tissues. Other than traumatic ulceration and bleeding, they are clinically insignificant but surgical intervention is often required due to cosmetic reasons.
On the other hand, cavernous hemangiomas in the brain can have serious consequences and manifestations because of the compression of adjacent areas of the brain. They can act as space occupying lesions that increase the intracranial pressure giving rise to various neurological deficits. The presence of cavernous hemangiomas is a feature of Hippel- Lindau disease where vascular lesions occur in various parts of the central nervous system.
These are a type of rapidly proliferating capillary hemangiomas that usually appear in the oral mucosa. Pyogenic granulomas easily rupture and therefore require intervention either through curettage or surgical excision.
What is the Difference Between Angioma and Hemangioma?
Angioma vs Hemangioma
|An angioma is a benign growth made up of blood vessels or lymphatic vessels arranged in an abnormal pattern.||Hemangiomas are an extremely common variety of tumors characterized by increased numbers of normal or abnormal blood filled vessels.|
|This is a broad term that describes a set of benign tumors with different origins.||This term is used to describe the benign tumors arising from the blood vessels.|
Summary – Angioma vs Hemangioma
Angiomas are benign tumors made up of blood vessels or lymphatic vessels. Hemangiomas are a type of angiomas that are composed of blood vessels only. These tumors have a very low malignant potential and usually do not require any treatments. This is the difference between angioma and hemangioma.
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1. Kumar, Vinay, Stanley Leonard Robbins, Ramzi S. Cotran, Abul K. Abbas, and Nelson Fausto. Robbins and Cotran pathologic basis of disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders, 2010. Print.