Patients with vascular anomalies have differences in blood and/or lymphatic vessels. Based on the location(s) and complications (which are either already present or are anticipated to arise), there may be visible changes to a person’s appearance (which may cause functional impairment) and/or abnormalities of the functions of these vessels. Arteriovenous malformations, hepatic hemangiomas with shunting, or high-flow hemangiomas may cause a “high-flow state” manifesting as the heart having to work harder.
A cardiologist will help deter-mine if medications are required to help the heart handle the increased flow. Patients with PHACES association may have abnormally shaped arteries in the brain. Patients with certain types of venous anomalies may have poorly developed deep vessels in the legs. In general, however, the body compensates by creating alternate (collateral) flow patterns so blood flows to where it must. The vessels in patients with these types of abnormalities must be monitored regularly with different tests. Most patients with vascular anomalies, though, have few cardiovascular effects.