Experts at UAMS-sponsored International Conference to Examine New Treatment Options for Vascular Anomalies

By Susan Van Dusen

The Second International Symposium on Hemangiomas and Vascular Malformations of the Head and Neck: Controversies and Innovations is sponsored by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Gresham T. Richter, M.D., assistant professor in the department, is symposium chairman. The event is being held in collaboration with the University of Marburg, Germany.

“The symposium will present some of the latest research available on vascular anomalies, which will affect the way these problems are treated,” said James Y. Suen, M.D., professor and chairman of the UAMS Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

“The conference goal is to promote dialogue and collaboration among international clinical experts and basic scientists who study these lesions,” Richter said.

Information presented at the conference will include research conducted by researchers at the Vascular Anomalies Center staffed by UAMS physicians seeing patients at both UAMS and its pediatric affiliate Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). The researchers will reveal the presence of hormone receptors in vascular malformations that may explain why they expand rapidly during puberty and pregnancy, or in women who take birth control pills.

Additional research from UAMS/ACH physician-scientists will include their grant-supported work on experimental models of vascular anomalies, how nanoparticles can be used to treat these disorders, and how a common heart medication can control complicated hemangiomas in infants.

Researchers will also discuss their identification of molecular changes that support the clinical impression that arterio-venous malformations (AVM) have similarities to cancers and require an aggressive approach to treatment. The center’s interventional radiologists will also describe their work on controlling AVM with new vascular embolization materials. 

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a new 540,000-square-foot hospital, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employers with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or