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Three-dimensional reconstruction of port wine stain vascular anatomy from serial histological sections


Port wine stains (PWSs) treated with a flashlamp-pumped pulsed dye laser show a variability in clinical response that is incompletely understood. To identify any vascular structure that might adversely affect treatment response, we obtained a three-dimensional reconstruction of the vascular anatomy of a non-responsive, light-purple superficial PWS on the forearm. The reconstructed PWS consisted of multiple clusters of small diameter (10-50 microns) blood vessels. We propose that this and similar structures, which have not been identified in the literature, have limited the efficacy of laser therapy. Further study is required to clarify the role of vessel clusters for laser treatment of PWSs, and the corresponding dosimetry necessary to clear non-responsive lesions. We expect that three-dimensional reconstruction of PWS vascular anatomy will provide the basis for (i) accurate PWS classification, (ii) guidance for selection of more effective laser dosimetry, and (iii) a standard against which to assess non-invasive diagnostic imaging techniques.

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