Pathogenesis of Vascular Anomalies
The development of blood vessels involves two main embryological processes: the development of a vascular plexus (vasculogenesis) and the sprouting of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). Vascular anomalies are due to defects in these underlying processes. Current research is attempting to understand the molecular mechanisms controlling vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. For example, familial venous malformations have been linked to a mutation in VMCM, which is a gene encoding an endothelial cell-specific tyrosine kinase.