Treatments and Services
Pediatric Vascular Neurology Program
What is the Pediatric Vascular Neurology Program?
Seattle Children’s Pediatric Vascular Neurology Program provides comprehensive, expert care for babies, children and adolescents with stroke or other neurologic conditions related to blood flow in the brain. The conditions we treat include:
- Perinatal ischemic stroke
- Presumed perinatal ischemic stroke
- Childhood arterial ischemic stroke
- Hemorrhagic stroke
- Ischemic stroke
- Disorders of the brain’s arteries or veins (cerebral vasculopathies):
- Arteriovenous malformation
- Cerebral cavernous malformation
- PHACE syndrome with vascular anomalies
- Central nervous system (CNS)vasculitis
- Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis
- Transient ischemic attack
“We learned that we were not alone, that we were not the only family dealing with this. That was the most healing part of our journey. We found a whole group of parents, siblings, and other survivors that understood the challenges and lifted us up when we needed it most.” - Makenzie’s mom, Jamie, Spanaway, WA
What’s special about the Pediatric Vascular Neurology Program and stroke treatment at Seattle Children’s?
- Seattle Children’s has the only pediatric vascular neurology program in the Pacific Northwest.
- Dr. Catherine Amlie-Lefond directs the program. She is a pediatric vascular neurologist who is a national leader in this field.
- Our neurosurgeons have a great deal of experience performing complex surgery for vascular neurology conditions, like revascularization surgery for moyamoya, with some of the best outcomes in the country.
- Pediatric vascular neurology is a subspecialty within Seattle Children’s Neurosciences Center. For more than a decade, U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked us among the top pediatric neurology and neurosurgery programs in the country.
- Neuroradiologists: At Seattle Children’s, doctors who specialize in brain imaging (neuroradiologists) plan the imaging studies your child needs, and they interpret the results so your child gets an accurate diagnosis.
- Neuroimaging: With advanced neuroimaging methods, our neuroradiologists can obtain high-quality pictures of your child’s brain and blood vessels:
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) with sedation
- MRA (magnetic resonance angiography)
- Special training and treatment: Our interventional radiologists have special pediatric training and use equipment and techniques designed for children and teens in vascular neurology treatments, like embolization.
- Team approach: Close collaboration between your child’s neuroradiologist, neurologist and other team members helps ensure your child receives the right care and avoids unnecessary tests or treatments.
- Our Emergency Department provides immediate care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for children who need medical attention right away, such as during a stroke.
- Amlie-Lefond and others on the Pediatric Vascular Neurology team are available to see patients quickly in the hospital or clinic, to perform urgent surgery or to consult with doctors at other hospitals to stabilize young patients and transfer them to Seattle Children’s, if needed.
- We also make access easy for you in nonemergency situations – for example, if your child is referred for a clinic visit to diagnose or treat a vascular problem in the brain or if you want a second opinion.
- The Pediatric Vascular Neurology Program brings together specialists from many areas of Seattle Children’s to care for your child’s complex needs as a team, from diagnosis through follow-up.
- Your child gets the combined knowledge and skills of doctors, surgeons, nurses and therapists from Neurology, Neurosurgery, Radiology, Hematology, Cardiology, Rehabilitation Medicine and other fields.
- Team members coordinate with each other to provide the right care at the right time – not only for vascular problems in your child’s brain, but for any related condition your child may have, such as a blood disorder or heart defect that increases the risk of blood clots.
- We also partner with internationally renowned cerebrovascular interventional experts from UW Medicine/Harborview Medical Center who have extensive experience treating stroke, moyamoya, arteriovenous malformations and aneurysms.
- We understand that stroke and other vascular neurology conditions can have profound effects on your child and be stressful for your family. Our compassionate experts connect you with support and resources to help your child and family cope.
- Experience matters when diagnosing and treating children with neurologic conditions related to blood flow in the brain. Seattle Children’s has cared for hundreds of patients with these conditions.
- We are experts in pediatrics and the ways vascular neurology conditions are different in children than in adults. For example, stroke causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment differ widely between newborns and elderly people.
- As your child ages and develops, we address their changing needs, whether they are young children returning to grade school after brain surgery or teens taking on more responsibility for choosing a healthy lifestyle.
- Seattle Children’s works with several dozen centers around the world on the International Pediatric Stroke Study (IPSS). IPSS centers pool medical information about hundreds of children who have had a stroke to look for patterns that may lead to better prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
- Along with other neurologists and neuroradiologists, we are collecting details about babies with perinatal ischemic strokes (in an artery or vein) and seizures called infantile spasms. This groundwork will lead to clinical studies looking for ways to prevent and treat severe epilepsy in these children.
Who’s on the Pediatric Vascular Neurology team?
Our program involves professionals from many fields working together to plan and provide all aspects of care for patients with vascular neurology conditions. They have special training and years of experience in the unique needs of babies, children and adolescents.