Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

Dermatology Online Journal bannerUC Davis

Cutaneous angiosarcoma clinically presenting as progressive solid facial edema in a 43-year-old male


Cutaneous angiosarcoma of the head and neck is a rare, highly malignant neoplasm; prognosis is heavily influenced by tumor size, resectability, and stage at initial diagnosis. Most patients present with one to several erythematous to violaceous patches, plaques, or nodules. However, the clinical presentation is highly variable and leads to delayed diagnosis. We report cutaneous angiosarcoma in a 43-year-old man who presented with an 11-month history of progressive solid (non-pitting) edema involving his entire face, scalp, eyelids, and neck without characteristic clinical features of cutaneous angiosarcoma. A skin biopsy had shown non-specific findings consistent with solid facial edema or rosacea. Various etiologies were considered but there was no significant improvement after directed medical therapy. Repeat skin biopsies revealed angiosarcoma involving the dermis and sub-cutis. Computed tomography (CT) of the chest showed multiple lung nodules bilaterally and a lytic lesion in the T6 vertebra consistent with metastases. He was treated with single agent chemotherapy (paclitaxel), and had a partial response that restored his ability to open both eyes spontaneously; However, his edema has recently progressed 7 months after diagnosis. This is a rare example of cutaneous angiosarcoma presenting as progressive solid facial edema, which underscores the diverse range of clinical manifestations associated with this neoplasm.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View