Pediatric Neurology & Neurosurgery


Cerebrovascular Disorders

Cerebrovascular disorders are conditions that affect the arteries or veins that circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the brain. In children, many of these conditions, such as moyamoya disease and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), are linked to congenital malformations that develop before birth. Because cerebrovascular disorders can increase the risk of hemorrhage, stroke, and brain damage, early diagnosis and intervention can be lifesaving. At NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, our pediatric neurosurgeons and other specialists have exceptional expertise in diagnosing and treating children with cerebrovascular disorders to relieve your child's symptoms, prevent complications, and restore your child's quality of life.

What We Treat

NewYork-Presbyterian provides comprehensive care for children with cerebrovascular disorders, including:

  • Moyamoya disease, a rare condition in which the carotid arteries (blood vessels at the base of the skull) progressively narrow, limiting the flow of vital oxygen-rich blood to the brain. The cloud of small vessels in that tangle look like a cloud on imaging tests, which is where the condition’s name (moyamoya means “puff of smoke” in Japanese) comes from.
  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), abnormal tangles of arteries and veins within or around the brain. These malformations result in high-flow states that jeopardize vessel rupture and hemorrhage.
  • Spinal cord arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), like brain AVMs but rarer, are a tangle of abnormal vessels at risk for bleeding.
  • Cavernous malformations, clusters of abnormal, tiny blood vessels and larger, thin-walled blood vessels in the brain. Bleeding and seizures are common presentations for this disorder. They can either be sporadic (no family history) or inherited due to a genetic cause.
  • Vein of Galen malformation (VOGM), a congenital disorder affecting the arteries and veins deep within the brain. These rare malformations are sometimes detected before birth and can lead to heart failure, hydrocepehalus, or bleeding. Prompt diagnosis and treatment after birth can be lifesaving.
  • Brain aneurysm, a congenital weakness in the walls of the arteries in the brain. This bulging of the arteries can be progressive and lead to life-threatening intracranial bleeding.  Family history can be helpful in early diagnosis and treatment.
  • Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs), or venous angiomas - congenital abnormalities in the normal venous drainage of an area of the brain. This condition does not represent a risk for hemorrhage or stroke.
  • Arterio-venous (AV) fistula, is a direct communication between a single artery and vein across the dural covering of the brain or spinal cord. These typically don’t run a risk of bleeding but cause symptoms due to high venous pressure.
  • Capillary telangiectasia - small areas of abnormally dilated capillaries within otherwise normal brain tissue. This variant of normal-sized, small vessels does not require treatment.  However, if they become large and symptomatic, treatment may be necessary.
  • Sinus pericrania - a vascular anomaly in which there is abnormal venous communication across the skull. Wide variations in severity dictate the need for treatment.
doctor with child patient

About Our Program

The NewYork-Presbyterian pediatric neurosurgery program, operating across NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, is the largest regional provider of pediatric neurosurgery services in the tristate area. Our pediatric neurosurgery team has clinical expertise across a full range of conditions including cerebrovascular disorders, brain and spinal cord tumors, epilepsy, hydrocephalus, craniosynostosis, Chiari malformation, spina bifida and spasticity.

Our patients come to us from across the country and around the world to seek the most advanced, safest, and proven treatments for the most complex cerebrovascular disorders in children. Our pediatric neurosurgeons are known for success in performing some of the most technically demanding and innovative neurosurgery procedures in children. We are dedicated to providing individualized treatment that enables children of all ages to reach their fullest potential and live their best lives.

Our pediatric neurosurgeons use minimally invasive surgery whenever possible to ensure the best results and the fastest recovery possible. With our state-of-the-art facilities, we use the latest and least invasive devices and techniques, such as the endoscope, robotics, and surgical planning software, for the best possible outcomes.

Because we are part of a world-class medical center, we have the ability to centralize care for our patients and connect our patients to providers in more than 100 specialties and subspecialties. When the time comes, we can provide the support patients and their families need to ensure a smooth transition from pediatric to adult care.

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