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Capillary Malformation of Port-Wine Stain: Differentiation From Early Arteriovenous Malformation by Histopathological Clues

Lee, Seok-Jong MD*,†; Kim, Ho Youn MD*; Kim, Byung Soo MD*; Kim, Do Won MD*; Chung, Ho Yun MD; Lee, Jong Min MD; Huh, Seung MD; Bae, Han Ik MD

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: July 2012 - Volume 34 - Issue 5 - p 523–528
doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e3181b76443
Clinicopathologic Correlation

Background: Cutaneous arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of stage I may mimic port-wine stains (PWSs) clinicopathologically; therefore, it may be misdiagnosed and mistreated as being PWS.

Objective: To suggest the clinicopathological differential clues between early AVMs and PWSs.

Methods: A set of 10 radiologically proven AVMs of stage I was selected in conjunction with a set of 10 age-/sex-matched PWSs as a control. Their clinical features, hematoxylin and eosin, CD31, and smooth muscle actin immunohistochemistry were then compared.

Results: Four pathological clues for differential diagnosis with statistical significance (P < 0.05) were found: the vessel density (CD31), presence of vascular luminal red blood cells, elongation and haphazard branching of vessels, and thickened vessel walls highlighted by smooth muscle actin.

Conclusion: Therefore, 4 differential clues with respect to stage I AVM and PWS in their earlier developmental stages have been proposed.

*Department of Dermatology

Vascular Anomaly Clinic

Department of Pathology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, South Korea.

Supported by Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Kyungpook National University (2008).

Conflicts of interest: None identified.

Reprints: Seok-Jong Lee, MD, Department of Dermatology, Kyungpook National University Hospital, 50 Samduk 2-ga Jung-Gu, Daegu, South Korea 700-721 (e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.