Cerebrovascular News and Features

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

Contact the Center

tumors and biomarkers
Edward Smith, MD, co-director of the Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center at Boston Children's, is developing a urine biomarker test for arteiovenous malformations. The test will detect if the brain tumor is coming back, without the need of an imaging visit. Read more.

Brain Power: 3D Printing is a New Tool for Thinking
A column in WIRED describes Boston Children's Edward Smith, MD,'s use of 3D printing to prepare for the challenge of complicated neurosurgeries. Days in advance, hospital techs use standard imaging to print a high-resolution copy of a child's brain and then Smith will examine it, slowly developing a nuanced, tactile feel for the challenge and rehearse the surgery as many times as he wants. During the operation, Smith keeps the printed brain next to him for reference.

Children with complex medical needs often seek care elsewhere

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on Eleanor Cherry, a little girl who had a stroke the week before Thanksgiving and, in March, had surgery to fix the brain defect that caused the stroke, a rare malformation called Moyamoya disease. Boston Children’s Ed Smith, MD, who performed the surgery, is mentioned in the article. 

3D-printed models of children's brain anatomy help reduce operative risk of complex procedures

Medical Net News reports Boston Children's Hospital physicians report the first cases of children benefiting from 3D printing of their anatomy before undergoing high-risk brain procedures. The children all had life-threatening cerebrovascular malformations (abnormalities in the brain's blood vessels) that posed special treatment challenges.  The use of 3D printing and synthetic resins to create custom, high-fidelity models of the children's vessel malformations along with nearby normal blood vessels, allowed the surgeons to rehearse the cases beforehand and reduce operative risk.  Boston Children’s Hospital’s Ed Smith, MD, was quoted in the article. This research was also highlighted in a blog post.

Melchionda, Ciaccio team up to run marathon and raise money for rare diseases 

Danielle Ciaccio ran the Boston Marathon to raise funds in support of Boston Children's Moyamoya Disease Program and in honor of her son Jackson, who suffered an ischemic stroke at age seventeen-months and was eventually diagnosed with moyamoya. 

The athlete who couldn’t be tamed by a brain hemorrhage

Read about Carly Coughlin, a superstar athlete running a 5:32 mile at the young age of 14. Her heroes are Tom Brady, Malcolm Butler and Ed Smith, the Boston Children's neurosurgeon who saved her life. After emergency surgery to repair a brain hemorrhage Carly’s career aspirations have shifted, and the Cape Cod track star is reading studies about arteriovenous malformation (AVMs) and pondering the world of neurosurgery. 

Twin surgeries bring this family a stroke of luck

Follow patients Ryan and Tyler through their experiences with moyamoya disease and treatment at Boston Children's Hospital.

3D printing helps give girl a new face

CBC's The National features Boston Children's Simulator Program and interviews Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, about the program and the tremendous value of medical simulation. Edward Smith, MD, and John Meara, MD, DMD, MBA, speak about their use of the Simulator Program's 3D printing service and experiences with two patients whose complex anatomy was printed on the 3D printer. An online news piece accompanies the CBC video, describing the Simulator Program and patient stories.

3D Printing Helps Doctors in Brain Surgery on Southington Teenager

The Hartford Courant (subscription required) explains how 3D printing helped save the life of Adam Stedman, a 16-year-old from Southington, CT. Adam had a delicate cranial neurosurgery at Boston Children's Hospital to repair a rare arteriovenous malformation. A 3D model of Adam's brain was used by Boston Children’s neurosurgeon, Edward Smith, MD, in pre-surgery training. Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, director the Boston Children's Hospital simulator program is quoted in the article.

Surgeons Get 'Dress Rehearsals' with 3D-Printed Body Parts

ABC News features Boston Children's Simulator Program and its 3D printing service which allows doctors to practice performing complex surgeries on one-of-a-kind patients before ever entering the operating room. Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, tells ABC his team has printed about 100 body parts over the last year and demand is growing. Edward Smith, MD, says a surgery that was supposed to take five or six hours wound up taking 2 hours and 20 minutes after practicing on the replicas that had been printed of a 15-year-old patient with an abnormal cluster of veins above his optical nerve.

Patient Story: Yousef's Vein of Galen surgery

When a Vein of Galen malformation was discovered in Yousef Alrkhayes' brain, a neurologist in their hometown of Kuwait City said he would be able to operate on Yousef at six months with a 40 percent chance of success—a prospect Yousef’s parents weren’t satisfied with. Because the malformation was so rare, they soon realized, they would need to find help outside of the country. Read more of Yousef's story at Boston Children's here.

As childhood strokes increase, surgeons aim to reduce risks

National Public Radio tells the story of 13-year-old Maribel Ramos, a girl with moyamoya disease who underwent pial synangiosis, giving her brain a new blood supply.

Medical Mysteries: What did the boy’s echo reveal?

Help solve the diagnostic puzzle of 4-month-old Rolensky of Haiti, whose heart seemed to be failing—yet showed no visible cardiac abnormality. As described in The Boston Globe, the decision to place the echo probe on his head rather than his heart led to the right solution.

Pencil pulled from tot’s head very, very slowly

This unusual accident—in which a pencil penetrated five inches into 20-month-old’s brain, crossing from one end of the skull to the other—demonstrates the power of advanced brain imaging when combined with a neurosurgeon’s steady hand.

A urine test for brain tumors and CVD?

Ed Smith, MD, is seeking “biomarkers” that show up in urine and can be used to tell whether a brain tumor is coming back, without having to bring the child in for imaging. Smith is now extending this research to monitoring moyamoya disease, arteriovenous malformations and more.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944