• brachyury;
  • hemoglobin ζ chain;
  • stem cells;
  • verrucous hemangioma


Verrucous hemangioma (VH) presents clinically as a vascular malformation but has similar histopathologic features to infantile hemangioma. This study characterized the cell population within VH.

Material and methods

Paraffin-embedded sections from two male patients with VH were processed for immunohistochemistry. The expression of SMA, CD34, glucose transporter-1 (Glut-1), D2-40, brachyury, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), Oct-4, hemoglobin ζ chain (HBZ), Wilms tumor protein (WT-1) and CD45 was examined.


The lymphatic marker, D2-40, was not expressed in VH, whereas Glut-1 was widely expressed in infantile hemangioma, it was only focally expressed by the endothelium of VH. The endothelium of VH expressed the primitive markers, Oct-4, brachyury and ACE. The primitive marker, WT-1, was expressed predominantly on the pericyte layer of both VH and infantile hemangioma. However, HBZ was only expressed in infantile hemangioma. CD45, a mature hematopoetic marker, was expressed by cells within the interstitium, away from the endothelium of VH and infantile hemangioma.


The expression of the primitive markers, Oct-4, brachyury and ACE on the endothelium, and WT-1 predominantly on the pericyte layer of VH shows a primitive microvascular phenotype similar to infantile hemangioma. However, the absence of the embryonic marker, HBZ, expressed only in first trimester placenta and in proliferating infantile hemangioma, suggests a different cellular origin. HBZ could be used to distinguish between the two conditions.