Cerebral venous thrombosis research and innovation

The Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center and the Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center at Boston Children’s Hospital conduct ongoing research to improve the care of children with cerebral venous thrombosis and its complications. Our initiatives include:

  • Clot-busting treatment: Boston Children’s was part of the five-year international Thrombolysis in Pediatric Stroke (TIPS) study, which tested the safety of three different doses of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in children with acute ischemic stroke. The results provide important clinical guidelines for tPA use and highlight the need for more pediatric stroke centers. Read more.
  • Reducing radiation exposure: New techniques have dramatically improved safety during diagnostic imaging and neurointerventions such as endovascular thrombolysis. We have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve high-quality imaging at low radiation doses. Read more.
  • Stroke imaging: Michael Rivkin, MD, and Amy Danehy, MD, in the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center are investigating non-invasive perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (pMRI) as a method to look at the brain's blood supply and circulation in newborns and older children who are having or have had a venous or arterial stroke. pMRI avoids the need to inject dye to image the blood vessels, does not require an IV and poses no risk of damaging a blood vessel.
  • Safe endovascular procedures: A variety of novel techniques developed and tested here have allowed safe use of catheters and endovascular devices in infants’ tiny vessels.
  • Cognitive outcomes after stroke in childhood: Christine Mrakotsky, PhD, in the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center is studying children with extensive neuropsychological evaluations to determine the ways in which stroke affects children’s developing cognition.
  • International Pediatric Stroke Study: Led at Boston Children’s by Michael Rivkin, MD, Laura Lehman, MD, and Cameron Trenor, MD, this study is collecting standardized data on the diagnosis, treatment and outcome of newborns and older children with stroke. The data are being shared in a repository with clinicians around the world.