Head and Neck Vascular Anomalies: A Practical Case-based Approach

Review by M Bannister, K Ah-See
Aberdeen, UK

This is an exhaustive text covering the complex area of vascular anomalies in the head and neck region. It discusses their clinical features, with strategies for making the correct diagnosis, appropriate investigations with useful lists of differential diagnoses and is particularly detailed regarding their individual management.

These descriptions centre on theoretical typicalcase discussions, which are readily applicable to such cases that are seen in clinical practice. The fact that these are so uncommon makes this particularly useful. These discussions are highlighted by excellent, and often startling, clinical photographs of the different anomalies of different parts of the region. Radiological images and pictures of the upper airway are also included. Chapters cover manifesta- tions on the skin, oral cavity, orbit, deep neck spaces and airway.

Most of the content, understandably, discusses the management of these anomalies in children. The surgical aspects of care that are discussed are particularly good, and are highlighted with full colour intra-operative photographs. This allows the reader to use their skills and experience to treat a particular lesion, that may not have been seen before. However, the managements of the cases discussed in the book are based solely on the authorsexperience and opinion, rather than as a result of literature reviews. This is perhaps understandable, given the rarity of some of the conditions included and the paucity of evidence available. 

The book would certainly be of benefit as a reference text in large paediatric centres, and for those developing a specialist service in the care of vascular malformations or who work in a variety of medical specialties, including oral-maxillofacial and plastic surgery. It is certainly a worthwhile read for those wishing to refresh their knowledge of these malformations and their associated conditions and syndromes.

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