Spider angioma

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Spider angioma
ICD-10 I78.1 (ILDS I78.11)
ICD-9 448.1
DiseasesDB 12302

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

A spider angioma (also known as a nevus araneus, spider nevus, or vascular spider) is a type of angioma found slightly below the skin's surface, often containing a central red spot and reddish extensions which radiate outwards like a spider's web. They are common and benign, present in around 10-15% of healthy adults and young children.

Spider angiomata in 47-year-old patient had longstanding jaundice and ascites consequent to biopsy-proven hepatic cirrhosis.[1]


Spider angiomas are commonly found on the face, neck, upper part of the trunk and arms. They may also be present on the backs of the hands and fingers in young children. Most, however, are a result of liver disease.

Many pregnant women, or women using hormonal contraception, have spider angiomas. People who have significant hepatic disease also show many spider angiomas, as they are not making sufficient of coagulation factors. About 33% of patients with cirrhosis have spider angiomas.[2] As such, microhemorrhages may be observed as spider angiomas.


Spider angiomas are asymptomatic and usually resolve spontaneously. This is common in the case of children, although they may take several years to disappear. If the spider angiomas are associated with pregnancy, they may resolve after childbirth. In women taking oral contraceptives, they may resolve after stopping these contraceptives. The spider angiomas associated with liver disease may resolve when liver function increases or when a liver transplant is performed.

For spider angiomas on the face, techniques such as electrodesiccation and laser treatment can be used to remove the lesion. There is a small risk of a scar, although the results are generally good. Spider angiomas can recur after treatment.


  1. Fred, H.; van Dijk, H. Images of Memorable Cases: Case 114, Connexions Web site. http://cnx.org/content/m14900/1.3/, Feb 16, 2012
  2. Li CP, Lee FY, Hwang SJ; et al. (1999). "Spider angiomas in patients with liver cirrhosis: role of alcoholism and impaired liver function". Scand. J. Gastroenterol. 34 (5): 520–3. PMID 10423070.

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de:Spider Naevi nl:Spider nevus