Avoiding misdiagnosis in venous malformation of the parotid

August 10, 2012
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Head and Neck Clinic

To avoid mistaking parotid masses and venous malformations for each other, based on imaging, requires a high level of clinical suspicioun, especially when operative findings and images are contradictory.

Venous malformations are slow-flow lesions characterized by an abnormal venous network. Forty percent of these lesions occur in the head and neck, and they usually present in childhood or early adulthood.1They may present after expansion caused by trauma, incomplete surgical resection,1or a change in hormone levels. Often, the overlying skin takes on a bluish tinge that makes the diagnosis more apparent. However, a deeper malformation occasionally may simply distort the overlying tissues, giving the impression of a tumor or other growth.

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CitationEar Nose Throat J. 2012 August;91(8):317-318