Objectives: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and satisfaction of patient or family (or both) in the evaluation of hemangiomas and other vascular malformations. Study Design: Prospective, relational database. Methods: Ninety-eight patients participated in a prospective, Institutional Review Board-approved, relational database study in the Hemangioma and Vascular Birthmark Center at the Children's Hospital of Buffalo (Buffalo, NY) from Jul 1998 to April 2000. This included 68 patients with hemangioma and 30 with vascular malformations. Data regarding presenting and final diagnosis and satisfaction of patient or family (or both) were obtained. Results Analysis of diagnostic accuracy revealed a concurrence between initial and final combined clinical and magnetic resonance imaging-based diagnosis in only 37% of cases. Analysis of patient and family satisfaction with the care received from previous consultants revealed only 26% "entirely" satisfied, 26% "somewhat" satisfied, and 37% "not at all" satisfied. On average, 2.5 (SD = 1.6; range, 1-9; median, 2) different physicians saw the patient before the patient or family (or both) was satisfied. Conclusions: Accurate diagnosis of hemangiomas and vascular malformations remains a challenge fox physicians. Confusing terminology, lack of knowledge regarding lesion behavior, and poorly understood diagnostic criteria by physicians are some of the reasons for patient frustration. Education of primary care providers through improved communication helps to optimize a coordinated, interdisciplinary approach to patients and their families who present with vascular anomalies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes