One in every ten children is born with a congenital vascular lesion and between fifty and sixty percent of them will require some form of treatment, whether it be medical, surgical or laser photocoagulation.

At Arkansas Children’s Hospital, a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary Vascular Anomalies Center has been developed to diagnose and treat children and adults with congenital vascular anomalies. This program has become recognized as a leading facility and serves patients from all over the United States as well as from other parts of the world. The Vascular Anomalies Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital provides state of the art care and has pioneered many of the diagnostic and treatment techniques available today.

Program Features:

  • A comprehensive, multidisciplinary vascular anomalies team
  • National and international referral base
  • Strong commitment to treat the whole patient beginning with the correct diagnosis and education, then moving to treatment options including medical, surgical and laser therapy

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After registering, you will be asked to complete a medical history form and insurance paperwork. Don’t forget to bring your child’s insurance card.

When your child’s name is called, one of our team members will guide you into the clinic and take your child’s height and weight.

In the exam room, you will meet one of our specialty nurses who will ask you some questions about your child’s medical history.

Our physicians will visit with you and your child and examine the area with the vascular anomaly. Then they will determine if any tests are needed and work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your child’s individual needs.

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Meet the Team

The Vascular Anomalies Center at Arkansas Children's is staffed by a closely integrated multidisciplinary team of physician specialists and related support staff representing the disciplines of Hematology/Oncology, Craniofacial Orthodontics, Pediatric Surgery, Research, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Pathology, Radiology, Dermatology, Pediatrics, and Orthopedic Surgery. Clinical team members work together to provide the needed care appropriate for each patient.

The academic focus of Arkansas Children's is supported by vascular anomalies team members at many levels, from the teaching of medical students and residents about vascular anomalies and other subjects in our various disciplines to specialized training of practicing physicians from all over the United States and abroad regarding technical aspects of vascular anomaly diagnosis and treatment.

Research is also an important element of our program, again utilizing the strength of the multidisciplinary team approach. With the goal of not only continually advancing treatment options, but also discovering fundamental mechanisms of the underlying disease processes, team members have made a number of significant advances in the field.

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Experts in Diagnosis and Treatment

The initial evaluation is one of the most important steps – not only does it increase the chances of a successful outcome, but it allows parents the opportunity to become informed and ask questions. We use state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments, including medical, surgical and laser therapy.

  • Medical – medication can be an effective treatment option for many types of vascular anomalies. If found and diagnosed early, medication can help prevent the anomaly from growing.
  • Surgical – surgical removal of vascular anomalies performed by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons (pediatric, head and neck and plastic surgeons).
  • Laser – laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment for some types of anomalies such as hemangiomas and port-wine stains. Lasers deliver pulses of light energy into the skin, destroying abnormal blood vessels.

Possible Treatments


Approximately, ten percent of all children born in the United States are born with a vascular birthmark. While many of these birthmarks will disappear within a few years of age, about ten percent of these children have a birthmark that will require the opinion of a specialist. The parents of these children are often confused and feel helpless, due to their lack of knowledge regarding diagnosis and treatment options. Many recent advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of hemangiomas and vascular malformations. Our goal is to give you the most up-to-date information as well as give you resources to help you understand your child's condition. Each person with a vascular anomaly is different and not all treatment options will be appropriate for every patient. The information provided on vascular anomalies and treatment options is to be used as a general guideline.

The Vascular Anomalies Program provides treatments in a variety of ways. Some of these treatments include:

  • Observation
  • Lasers
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Surgery

Research

The Center for Investigation of Congenital Aberrancies in Vascular Development at the Arkansas Children's Research Institute was established in 2008. The center was created to open a dedicated molecular and biology laboratory to the investigation of vascular anomalies and conduct pilot work on in vitro and in vivo experimental models of disease. In the process, the laboratory has successfully isolated Hemangioma stem cells, explored various molecular markers, and grown various vascular anomalies in nude mice and tissue culture. Our team has presented this work at international scientific conferences and have several manuscripts in progress. Dr. Gresham Richter serves as the Research Director of the Center for Investigation of Congenital Aberrancies in Vascular Development and he is also one of the Pediatric Otolaryngologist on the Vascular Anomalies Team. Jessica Boswell, CRS, serves the Vascular Anomalies Team and Research Center as Clinical Research and Project Coordinator. Our facility occupies 650 ft 2 that is fully operational to conduct the entire spectrum of laboratory techniques including, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, Northern blotting, RTPCR, tissue culture, and animal experiments. Local institutional intramural funding has supported the initial equipment acquisition and pilot projects.

Some of the awards our research team has won are as follows:

William P. Potsic Basic Science Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Pediatric Otolaryngology from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology

  • 2011 First Place-Dr. Dai, "Enos Protein Expressions is Decreased in Involuting Hemangioma's"
  • 2011 Second Place-Dr. Hou, "Novel In-Vivo Model for Human Lymphatic Malformations"

Their achievement is the first time in the award program's history that researchers from the same institute were awarded first and second places in the same year.

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