Spider Angioma

September 14, 2005
Alexander K. C. Leung, MD
Alexander K. C. Leung, MD

,
C. Pion Kao, MD
C. Pion Kao, MD

This lesion consists of a dilated central feeding arteriole and smaller radiating branches that together suggest a spider's body and legs. The lesion blanches when pressure is applied. Pulsations visible in larger nevi are evidence of the arterial source of the lesion.

This lesion consists of a dilated central feeding arteriole and smaller radiating branches that together suggest a spider's body and legs. The lesion blanches when pressure is applied. Pulsations visible in larger nevi are evidence of the arterial source of the lesion. In children, spider angiomas are normal, usually idiopathic, findings. In older adolescents and adults, they may be associated with conditions in which there are increased levels of circulating estrogens, such as pregnancy, chronic liver disease, alcoholism, and estrogen-producing tumors.

Treatment is usually not necessary, other than for cosmetic reasons. In such cases, spider angiomas can be obliterated by application of liquid nitrogen, electrocoagulation, or pulsed dye laser.