The Australasian Vascular Anomalies Network
Vascular anomalies affect about one in ten children. Caused by an excessive growth of blood vessels or lymphatic vessels in one part of the body, the most common type are small localised birthmarks known as ‘strawberry naevus’. Small birthmarks of this sort are usually easily managed, and many require no treatment at all. Larger birthmarks, and more severe vascular anomalies including Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM), lymphatic malformations (cystic hygroma) and venous malformations, can cause lifelong disability and the psychological and physical consequences for affected children can be severe.
Complex treatment by many different specialists is often required. Vascular Anomalies multidisciplinary teams now exist in most major centres in Australia and New Zealand to care for these children. The Jigsaw Foundation has helped establish the Australasian Vascular Anomalies Network, or AVAN, to bring together the many specialists in those teams from around the two countries to provide information, co-ordinate care, share expertise and stimulate research into these conditions.
The website: www.avan.org.au provides more information about vascular anomalies and research efforts supported by the Jigsaw Foundation.