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If your child has a blood vessel disease of the brain or spine, we can help.
The Neurovascular Center of Excellence at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh offers world-class care.
Our renowned experts work together to design the best treatment plan for your child, teen, or young adult. We treat youth up to age 23 who have conditions that affect the blood vessels in the brain and spine.
Contact the Neurovascular Center of Excellence at 412-692-5090.
Contact the Neurovascular Center of Excellence at 412-692-5090.
We treat neurovascular conditions in babies all the way to young adults.
Our caring team takes the time to explain the disorder, what to expect, and the treatment options.
If your child shows signs of bleeding from an AVM, take them to the nearest emergency department. Rapid treatment is crucial.
An AVM refers to tangled small blood vessels in the brain between arteries and veins. There are different types of AVMs, with the vein of Galen malformation being among the most severe.
AVMs often cause the blood to flow directly from an artery into a vein. This can reduce the blood flow further down the artery and cause the blood vessel to burst.
AVM symptoms can include:
The first step of an AVM diagnosis is an angiogram.
Your child's doctor will inject dye into their blood vessels and take x-rays. The x-ray shows how the AVM affects the blood flow in the brain.
Doctors often suggest removing AVMs through surgery because long-term chances of bleeding problems are high, even if the short-term risk is low.
In some cases, they may use targeted radiation for an AVM that's:
A CCM is a mass of abnormal and thin-walled blood vessels in the brain.
Many CCMs won't cause any problems in your child. But some can bleed and cause symptoms. Bleeding is often minimal and not life-threatening.
Our expert team uses MRI to assess your child's CCM for bleeding and growth over time.
Sometimes, we'll take a wait-and-see approach to watch the condition over time and make sure it remains stable.
For CCMs that continue to bleed or grow, we'll suggest surgery to remove them. Doctors mostly do CCM surgery at least a few weeks after hemorrhage.
We'll take time to explain all treatment options and why we suggest one approach over another.
This is a rare condition by which one or more main arteries to the brain narrow. This reduces blood flow to the brain.
Moyamoya can cause:
Because moyamoya gets worse over time, it's vital to catch and treat it early to decrease your child's risk of stroke.
The Neurovascular Center at UPMC Children's Hospital is one of the few centers that can perform pial synangiosis or indirect bypass.
This intricate surgery reroutes healthy blood vessels from the scalp back to the brain. It allows new blood vessels to grow and supply blood flow to the brain.
If diagnosed early, many children with moyamoya can live long and healthy lives.
This is a bulge in a blood vessel in the brain.
Our team performs an angiogram to see how blood flows into and out of the aneurysm.
We use imaging to keep an eye on small aneurysms over time. Large or growing aneurysms need surgery because they can burst in the future.
Our expert surgeons send tiny instruments through the blood vessel to place a coil or mesh tube. This way, blood doesn't flow into the aneurysm.
We'll follow your child closely to assess healing and prevent future problems with blood flow in the brain.
Retinoblastoma is cancer of the retina at the back of the eye.
Our surgeons direct medicine to the blood vessel behind the eye to treat it. This increases the success of the medication and reduces side effects.
If your child shows signs of stroke, take them to the closest hospital right away. Rapid treatment is crucial.
We treat stroke with advanced surgical techniques, medicine, or both based on what will work best for your child.
We also work to learn the reason for the stroke.
And we'll follow up with you and your child to assess their healing and prevent future blood vessel problems.
Our surgical, imaging, and medical teams work together to ensure your child gets the most cutting-edge and evidence-based care.
Doctors across the country often refer children with complex neurovascular conditions to us.
We use cutting-edge technology to perform surgery at a microscopic level. It helps us divert blood flow away from an area prone to bleeding or clotting.
One common surgery we do is pial synangiosis, a type of indirect bypass. A surgeon attaches a new blood vessel from the scalp to the brain's surface to let new blood flow to the brain. This maintains normal blood flow to the brain while eliminating abnormal blood flow.
Another common surgery is AVM removal. Surgeons use a microscope and small tools to remove the tangled blood vessels while preserving the normal vessels.
Children from across the U.S. come to us so they can get treatment for hard-to-reach and complex vessel problems.
Before open surgery to remove a malformed part of the blood vessels, we first seal it with safe material. Some examples of this include medical-grade coils or glue.
This process — called embolization — reduces bleeding during surgery.
For this procedure, your child's surgeon:
We also use endovascular surgery to remove a blood clot in a stroke.
The surgeon guides a special tool through the tube that expands at the clot. They then pull the clot through the tube.
Despite the name, this isn't a type of surgery. Instead, it involves sending high-powered radiation to a targeted area with surgical accuracy.
Doctors use this to treat very small or inoperable AVMs in the brain's blood vessels.
Doctors prescribe blood thinners if surgery or other techniques aren't the best options for your child.
They also combine blood thinners with surgical and other treatments to prevent blood clots.
We'll choose the safest blood thinner for your child based on their:
We use rapid tests to make sure your child has the correct dosing and adjust it as needed.
Your child's care team includes:
Our experts take the time to answer your questions and explain your child's treatment plan in detail. When you meet us, you'll feel sure knowing a whole team of world-leading experts is working for your child.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.