Blood Vessels

Joyce Bischoff

Vascular Biology Program, Children s Hospital Boston and Department of Surgery, Children s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical

School, Boston, Massachusetts

Hemangioma is a tumor of endothelium that occurs in 5 to 10 percent of caucasian infants. Often referred to as infantile hemangioma, it follows a unique biological course: it proliferates rapidly in the first year of life, regresses slowly during early childhood, and never recurs. These features of hemangioma distinguish it from other vascular tumors, which do not regress and can occur in adults. Like many vascular tumors, the endothelial cells that comprise heman-gioma express a multitude of endothelial markers and angiogenic growth factors. Endothelial cells from hemangiomas are clonal and exhibit abnormal properties when compared to normal human microvascular endothelial cells. These findings strongly suggest that hemangiomas arise when a somatic mutation occurs, within a single endothelial cell, in a gene that controls endothelial cell proliferation and possibly responses to angiogenic stimuli. The molecular mechanisms underlying the rapid growth and the spontaneous involution of hemangioma are yet to be discovered, but when elucidated, are likely to yield unique insights into the regulation of blood vessel formation and growth.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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