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At Boston Children’s Hospital, we see children from newborns through adolescents with a variety of stroke conditions. These include arterial and venous strokes, ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes and strokes caused by specific underlying conditions, such as congenital heart disease, sickle cell disease, moyamoya disease and other diseases of the blood vessels. Stroke can affect all parts of the brain and spinal cord.
Most pediatric stroke is “ischemic” or “thrombotic” in nature, meaning that blood stopped flowing to an area of the brain for long enough to cause damage.
Stroke can occur at any time in a child’s life. Once the diagnosis is made, we rapidly evaluate the infant to identify any underlying disorder that could predispose her to a second stroke if untreated. Once we find a cause for stroke, we start therapies immediately to help the child develop as normally as possible.
After the newborn period (the first 28 days of life), stroke is much more rare but can be fatal, making early recognition and treatment vitally important. Childhood stroke can be associated with congenital heart disease, abnormalities in blood vessels, disorders that increase the blood’s tendency to clot, infection or inflammation. Strokes occur more often in boys than girls and more often in African- Americans than in Caucasians.
Stroke conditions go by many medical names, so if your child has received a diagnosis that’s not listed here, it’s very likely that we treat it. The major pediatric stroke conditions we treat include:
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