An Algorithm for Managing Intraosseous Vascular Anomalies of the Craniofacial Skeleton

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Intraosseous vascular anomalies (IOVA) are rare in the craniofacial skeleton and present a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. This study aims to describe the clinical management based on a large case series.


A retrospective chart review was performed and 9 IOVA were identified over a 15-year period. Data on demographics, diagnostic features, clinical management, and outcomes were reviewed.


Five frontal bone IOVA and 4 orbital IOVA were identified. The postoperative follow-up ranged from 4 months to 4 years. All 9 lesions were diagnosed with computed tomography (CT) imaging. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to delineate soft tissue involvement in 2 patients presenting with oculo-orbital dystopia and ophthalmoplegia. En bloc excision was performed in all patients. Preoperative interventional embolization was critical in the successful resection of an orbital IOVA following 2 previously failed attempts that were aborted secondary to hemorrhage. Intraoperative 3-dimensional stereotactic navigation was used for the accurate en bloc excision of a frontal IOVA to prevent injury to the frontal sinus. Reconstruction of esthetic and functional deformities was successfully accomplished.


The diagnosis of IOVA relies primarily on clinical assessment and CT imaging. Further interpretation of the involvement of periorbital, facial, and intracranial soft tissue is best defined by MRI. Multidisciplinary care with interventional radiology and neurosurgery must be considered for ensuring the safe and adequate en bloc excision of craniofacial IOVA.

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