BACKGROUND: Evaluating the progression of soft-tissue arteriovenous malformation (AVMs) is still problematic. To establish a quantitative method, we took a morphological approach. METHODS: Normal blood vessels in early-phase 3D-computed tomography angiography images are theoretically expected to be tree-like structures without loops, whereas AVM blood vessels are expected to be mesh-like structures with loops. Simplified to the utmost limit, these vascular structures can be symbolized with wire-frame models composed of nodes and connecting edges, in which making an extra loop always needs one more of edges than of nodes. RESULTS: Total amount of abnormal vascular structures is estimated from a simple equation: Number of vascular loops = 1 - ([Number of nodes] - [Number of edges]). CONCLUSION: Abnormalities of AVM vascular structures can be mathematically quantified using computed tomography angiography images.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0. American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas