Brain, Nervous System and Mental Conditions

Vascular Diseases of the Brain and Spinal Cord

What Are Vascular Diseases?

Vascular diseases affect the veins and arteries (blood vessels) that carry blood around the body. Many different conditions can affect the veins and arteries that deliver blood to the brain and spinal cord. These conditions are rarely found in children.

But malformations of the arteries and veins in the brain and spinal cord can be present when a baby is born (congenital). These problems sometimes have a genetic component.

The vascular (blood vessel) diseases children have most often are:

  • Aneurysms
  • Arteriovenous malformations
  • Cavernous malformations
  • Moyamoya
  • Vein of Galen malformation

For information on these specific diseases, see the  Treatments  tab above.

Vascular Diseases in Children

Children rarely have vascular diseases of the brain or spinal cord. When they do, the problem is usually present at birth (congenital).

Doctors don’t know what causes many of these abnormalities. But moyamoya and cavernous malformations may be genetic.

Vascular Diseases at Seattle Children's

Our team of skilled experts works together to diagnose and treat these rare and complex problems. We make sure your child gets the care they need.

Our neurosurgeons have a great deal of experience in diagnosing and treating babies and children with vascular diseases of the brain and spinal cord. We also have the specialized equipment needed to operate on babies and children.

Our neurosurgeons have developed a special emphasis in treating moyamoya. Children from across the country come to Children’s for surgery called pial synangiosis. Our neurosurgeons do several of these operations every year.

Our neurosurgeons also operate on adults with similar conditions at Harborview Medical Center, a part of UW Medicine.