Conditions + Treatments

Arterial Ischemic Stroke in Children

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Contact the Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center

Is my child having a stroke?

If you see any of these symptoms in your child, don't wait -- go directly to an emergency room
  •  weakness on one side of the body
  • difficulty speaking
  • difficulty walking or instability when standing
  • vision loss
  • first-time seizure
  • a change in mental state

What is an Arterial Ischemic Stroke?

An Arterial Ischemic Stroke (AIS) is an injury to the brain or spinal cord caused by a lack of oxygen. AIS results from obstruction of blood flow by blood clots, narrowed or damaged arteries or both.

Children commonly recover from strokes more quickly and completely than adults, thanks to their young, healthy vessels and the ability of young brains to adapt. Some strokes will have minimal long-term effects. Others, however, can cause problems, depending on the severity of the stroke, the part of the brain affected and how quickly it is treated. Complications can include weakness, sensory loss, visual compromise and cognitive or language impairment.

Treatment of arterial ischemic stroke at Boston Children’s Hospital

Children with Arterial Ischemic Stroke (AIS) receive care from a multidisciplinary team of specialists, starting in the emergency room. Our Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center team will come to the emergency department and—if indicated—quickly give clot-dissolving drugs. In some cases, we will use tiny, catheter-based devices to break up or extract the clot physically. Our Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center has pioneered the use of these techniques in children. If the AIS was caused by injury or disease of the arteries themselves, we may be able to use a surgical or neurointerventional procedure to correct the condition.

Once the immediate danger is past, specialists in our Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center provide long-term care, creating a comprehensive rehabilitation plan to help each child regain the best quality of life possible.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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

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