Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc

Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc

Centre for vascular anomalies

Background of our Center

For ages, patients with vascular anomalies have been "nomades"; sent from one physician to another, due to old and unclear classification. In 1989, Drs Mulliken and Glowacki developped a new classification based on clinical, radiologic and histologic criteria. This classification, accepted by the XIth International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies in Rome (June 1996), divided vascular anomalies into 2 major entities: vascular tumors, in which nascent hemangioma is the most common, and vascular malformations that can be divided into different types, depending on the vessels involved in the dysmorphogenesis.

Table 1:
Classification of Vascular Anomalies(according to the XIth International Workshop on Vascular Anomalies, Rome 1996)
Vascular tumors Vascular malformations
(Nascent) hemangioma
Congenital hemangioma
Kaposiform hemangioendothelioma
Arterial malformation
Capillary malformation
Lymphatic malformation
Venous malformation
Combined malformations

Due to their complexity, these disorders should be treated in a multidisciplinary center. Our Center, created in 1991 by Professor Romain Vanwijck, was the first one in Belgium. The Center is in constant collaboration with the Vascular Anomalies Center at Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston that was created by Pr. John B. Mulliken, an expert on Vascular Anomalies. Dr. Laurence M. Boon spent a 2 year training period in his center in 1993-95.

Our Center in St Luc not only involves all necessary clinical disciplines (see list of members above) but also basic research perfomed in collaboration with the Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics (Dr. Miikka Vikkula, Christian de Duve Institute (ICP) ). The research is focused on the etiopathogenic mechanisms causing vascular anomalies with the final goal being the discovery of more efficient and/or curative therapies (


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