International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies
Newsletter Vol 5 - No 1 | April 2021

President’s Message

Table of Contents

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

Welcome to the ISSVA newsletter. In these difficult times, ISSVA continues to do all we can to improve education of members and others concerning vascular anomalies and to support and disseminate the discovery of new knowledge and treatment.

Our focus, at the moment, is on the upcoming “Debates and Updates” meeting. This is the first ever “in between” meeting held by the Society to complement our biannual scientific meetings. The focus of this meeting, to be held every second year, will be on education rather than original research, and it will be very much “case-based”. We have a great program. Unfortunately, once again we cannot hold the meeting in person, but as we learned last year, a virtual meeting can deliver a lot of information in a short time. We hope this year it will be even better. Meanwhile we continue to plan for our 2022 scientific meeting in Vancouver, and despite the uncertainties we look forward to finally meeting up in person with colleagues and friends in a wonderful destination.

In this newsletter you will find updates on the activities of the society. In particular we include information on:

  • Journal of Vascular Anomalies (JoVA)
  • Listing vascular anomalies multidisciplinary teams on the ISSVA website
  • Review of the ISSVA classification
  • Networking opportunities
  • Upcoming educational meetings

Please continue to contact the ISSVA board and management with any concerns, ideas and news related to vascular anomalies. We love to hear from you.  In these challenging times it is more important than ever that we stay in touch as a vascular anomalies community. The ISSVA board would like to improve the way it connects with members and also with the wider community. If you have expertise or interest in social media and would like to help or think you might otherwise have something to contribute to the way we communicate we would love to hear from you. Please contact me or Justin Dodge at ISSVA.

Stay safe, and we hope to see as many of you as we can in May.

Tony Penington, MD
President, ISSVA 2020-2022

Journal of Vascular Anomalies (JoVA)
An open access multi-disciplinary journal  

This has been an exciting first year for the Journal of Vascular Anomalies (JoVA) as a number of high-quality, and variety of, manuscripts were submitted for review and publication. Thanks to the speed and insightful suggestions by our amazing reviewers, associate editors and editorial board, JoVA is now moving gracefully toward Pubmed Central within the first year of existence.

JoVA was conceived by ISSVA, with thoughtful direction by the ISSVA Board of Directors, as the first and only journal of its kind dedicated to the investigation of vascular anomalies. There was an intellectual void in the medical literature and general public that now JoVA can fill as a specified open access journal where articles can be both viewed and shared at no cost.

The foundation has been built, the first articles published, and JoVA continue to receive wonderful and intelligent manuscripts from our readers and ISSVA members from all disciplines. Thank you for your investment, trust, and dedication to JoVA as we embark this journey together to publish leading articles on our platform in the vascular anomalies space. I am personally honored to be your Editor-in-Chief and look forward to reading and publishing your best original research, basic science, state of the art reviews, and case reports. The lasting effect of your publication in JoVA on other research, education, patient outcomes, and JoVA’s impact factor is priceless. See Our Current Issue Online.

Finally, I would like to make a few supportive comments on Open Access publication. Thanks to the generous support by ISSVA, JoVA continues to provide a discounted rate to ISSVA members to help cover the nominal editorial and peer review related costs.

Open Access (OA) publications (learn more about Open Access Journals on our website):

  • Reduce barriers: in price and permission requirements for readers
  • Allow access: to the general public, educators, and other stake holders in your research without requiring a subscription. Full Text downloads are nearly 90% higher for OA journals.
  • Improve visibility: by easily allowing sharing in social media sites, blogs and other platforms for free.
  • Receive more citations: likely secondary to more visibility, sharing, and access.
  • Reduce publishing costs compared to traditional journals.
  • Maintain publishing prestige and now occupy nearly 80% of the research space.
  • Time to publication is significantly shorter compared to traditional journals.
  • Have same access to Medline and Pubmed Status.
  • Can be protected (like JoVA) from predatory practices.

Are a 21st Century approach to publishing scholarly material.

Submit your manuscript to JoVA ● Author Guidelines

Gresham T. Richter, MD FACS FAAP
Editor in Chief, Journal of Vascular Anomalies

All ISSVA members are encouraged to submit details of their multidisciplinary team for listing on the ISSVA website.  You will soon receive an email inviting you to submit, but you may also Submit Your Multi-Disciplinary Team Here.

A team environment is the optimum setting for managing the complex problems which arise in treating vascular anomalies. For some time ISSVA has been keen to provide a listing on its website of multidisciplinary teams around the world. This will be of benefit to patients and to primary care physicians, letting them know where multidisciplinary care is available. It will also be helpful for members to know where to direct patients who travel or migrate, and just to better know the worldwide vascular anomalies community.

Of course, just being in a multidisciplinary team does not guarantee high quality care. ISSVA recognizes this, and will be working over the coming months on how quality of care can be defined and evaluated. There are limitations on what a society like ours can do in this space, without physically visiting each team, something which may never be possible with the resources available. What we should be able to do, however, is define what good care looks like, and create a framework for individual teams to assess how what they do measures up. We hope that listing your team will be a first step towards improving the care of vascular anomalies worldwide.

In the meantime, we do believe that just working in a multidisciplinary team has beneficial effects on the delivery of care which can be significant, especially if all members of the team participate fully and seek out education opportunities. Reaching out to team members who are not yet members of ISSVA and encouraging them to participate in educational opportunities will be an important part of this process. We encourage coordinators to sign as many team members as possible (and to become members of ISSVA!).

Submit Your Multi-Disciplinary Team Here.

Networking Opportunities

Join the community of physicians, researchers and allied healthcare professions in the field of vascular anomalies through ISSVA’s networking opportunities.

Message Boards: As an ISSVA member, you have access to our message boards, where you may connect with other members. Leave a question or answer a colleague’s question on the ISSVA Message Boards.

The ISSVA classification of vascular anomalies used a “binary classification” of vascular anomalies of tumors and malformations, based on the pioneering work of John Mulliken and Julie Glowacki, first published in 1982. Their studies were based on endothelial cell characteristics of hemangiomas and vascular malformations, a classification schema, using this as a basis, but expanded to “vascular tumors” and “vascular malformations”, which was formally adopted by the organization in 1996. It has been revised and updated since then, the most recent revision being in The 2018 Classification Revision

Over time our knowledge of vascular anomalies has increased: diagnostic categories have expanded, the revolution in genomics, particularly next-generation sequencing has prompted many of us to look at the ISSVA classification to reflect these scientific advances. In 2020, President Tony Penington asked for ISSVA member volunteers to form the creation of an ad-hoc task-force to address the classification and propose revisions based on our current understanding. The goal was to have an international, multi-disciplinary group to discuss this important topic. This task-force has been assembled and will meet in late April to discuss ideas for revising and improving the classification.

The members of the group are as follows:

  • Denise Adams, Oncology (United States)
  • Fran Blei, Oncology (United States)
  • Juliana Bonilla-Velez, Otolaryngology (United States)
  • Isabel Colmenero, Histopathology (Spain)
  • Beth Drolet, Dermatology (United States)
  • Ilona Frieden, Dermatology (United States)
  • Mary Glover, Dermatology (United Kingdom)
  • Gerald Legiehn, Interventional Radiology (Canada)
  • Naiem Nassiri, Vascular Surgery (United States)
  • Tony Penington, Plastic Surgery (Australia)
  • Leo Schultze-Kool, Interventional Radiology (Netherlands)
  • Deshan Sebaratnam, Dermatology (Australia)
  • Miikka Vikkula, Genetics (Belgium)
  • Michel Wassef, Pathology (France)

This work will be ongoing and if you have thoughts on the classification and how to improve it, we would like to hear from you. Please send your ideas to me, Ilona Frieden, at

Ilona Frieden M.D.
Chair, Ad-Hoc Classification Task Force

Upcoming ISSVA Meetings

2021: Debates & Updates Meeting (Virtual): 13-15 May 2021
2022: ISSVA World Congress (Vancouver, Canada): 10-13 May 2022

The first “Debates & Updates” meeting is only about one month away! This educational meeting will be offered in the years between our Congresses and we are proud to present our “Debates & Updates” meeting virtually from 13-15 May 2021. This three-day online meeting will include talks about genetics, basic research, novel therapies and debates in the evaluation and management of patients with vascular anomalies. Controversial issues and cases have been selected by the ISSVA Meetings Committee in order to create a program that offers our attendees presentations intermingled with challenging cases, followed by a lively, healthy discussion between speakers, moderators and registrants.

See the Program                             Register for the Meeting

Other Meetings of Interest

In keeping with the ISSVA policy, and with the approval of its Board of Directors, we announce the following meetings. This does not indicate an endorsement or sponsorship of these meetings:

14 August 2021
GEST 2021 Vascular Malformations Focus Day

For information, visit: GEST 2021 Website
06-07 October 2021
Beijing, China
ICVMPVA 2021: 15. International Conference on Vascular Medicine and Pathogenesis of Vascular Anomalies

For information, visit: ICVMPVA 2021 Website
06-08 October 2021
Barcelona, Spain
Vascular malformations: From fundamental biology to therapeutic opportunities

For information, visit: EMBO Workshop

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