Author(s): Boscolo E, Bischoff J
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Abstract Infantile hemangioma is a vascular tumor that occurs in 5-10\% of infants of European descent. A defining feature of infantile hemangioma is the dramatic growth and development into a disorganized mass of blood vessels. Subsequently, a slow spontaneous involution begins around 1 year of age and continues for 4-6 years. The growth and involution of infantile hemangioma is very different from other vascular tumors and vascular malformations, which do not regress and can occur at any time during childhood or adult life. Much has been learned from careful study of the tissue morphology and gene expression patterns during the life-cycle of hemangioma. Tissue explants and tumor-derived cell populations have provided further insight to unravel the cellular and molecular basis of infantile hemangioma. A multipotent progenitor cell capable of de novo blood vessel formation has been isolated from infantile hemangioma, which suggests that this common tumor of infancy, long considered to be a model for pathologic angiogenesis, may also represent pathologic vasculogenesis. Whether viewed as angiogenesis or vasculogenesis, infantile hemangioma represents a vascular perturbation during a critical period of post-natal growth, and as such provides a unique opportunity to decipher mechanisms of human vascular development.
This article was published in Angiogenesis
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