Brain Cavernous Malformation Pediatric Research and Clinical Trials

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Contact the Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center

The Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center at Boston Children's Hospital conducts ongoing research to find better tests and treatments for cavernous malformations (CMs) and other cerebrovascular conditions. Our clinical research is complemented by basic research on blood vessels in the Vascular Biology Program

Cerebrovascular Disease (CVD) Dynamic Database

Our comprehensive patient database, representing the largest experience with pediatric cerebrovascular disease (CVD) in the world, allows us to track long-term outcomes in our patients with cavernous malformations, evaluate newly adopted interventions and improve our quality of care.

For example, we recently reviewed outcomes for 238 supratentorial lobar cavernous malformations in children coming to Boston Children's from 1997 to 2011, of which 83 cavernous malformations were removed surgically. For those cavernous malformations that caused symptoms, 98 percent were completely removed, and 96 percent of patients with seizures were seizure-free at follow-up. Read an abstract of the study.

3D printing to model brain and vascular anatomy

Working with the Simulator Program at Boston Children's, Edward Smith, MD and Darren Orbach, MD, PhD, are pioneering the creation of precision 3D models of patients' brains and blood vessels, using data from their brain scans, to better understand their CVD condition and plan safe treatment Maneuvers. The models are created with digital guided 3D printers that lay down different types of molten plastic.

CVD biomarkers

Neurosurgeon Edward Smith, MD, is beginning to identify telltale proteins in the urine of patients with cerebrovascular disorders. These "biomarkers" may help in diagnosing and monitoring CVD, reducing the need for children to travel to Boston Children's for follow-up imaging studies. Dr. Smith has already validated the utility of urine biomarkers of several kinds of brain tumors. Read more. See some of our published papers on CMs.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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