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New center integrates care for childhood stroke

BY: CHRISTINA ECHEGARAY

5/10/2012 - Stroke isn’t typically thought of as a childhood condition, but it’s as common as brain tumors in children.

An estimated three in 100,000 children suffer a stroke. Often the signs and symptoms are misidentified because stroke is mostly associated with adults.

Since neurovascular diseases can be complex, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has launched a new Pediatric Neurovascular Center to allow for an integrated approach to care for children.

The center brings different areas of neurological expertise — medical, surgical, diagnostic, therapeutic — under one program, providing comprehensive, coordinated assessments and treatments for young patients.

Working together for the program are Lori Jordan, M.D., director of the Pediatric Stroke Program in Vanderbilt’s Department of Neurology, and Robert Singer, M.D., director of Pediatric Neurovascular Therapeutics in the Department of Neurosurgery.

Lori Jordan, M.D.

Lori Jordan, M.D.

Robert Singer, M.D.

Robert Singer, M.D.

“Pediatric stroke is a big problem in society but is not something that gets a lot of recognition simply because adult stroke is so prevalent,” said Singer.

“We thought we had a unique opportunity to develop a center for pediatric stroke and neurovascular disease which is a subspecialty type of program, one that has the ability to really set the hospital apart in terms of level of care.”

Children’s Hospital’s departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery received recognition in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals,” ranking 39th out of 177 Children’s Hospitals in 2011.

Jordan and Singer evaluate and treat children for various conditions, including brain aneurysms, arteriovenus malformations (AVM) and vein of Galen Malformations, cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM), developmental venous anomalies, moyamoya and stroke.

The Center will have new bi-plane angiography equipment to view different angles of the brain blood vessels for neurovascular procedures.

Singer is an expert in endovascular, catheter-based surgery and open cerebral vascular surgery. Jordan is an expert in pediatric stroke, an area in which she does extensive research.

The pair was already communicating regularly about patients, and decided it was best to link that cooperation under one center with dedicated support staff.

“Dr. Singer and I often see the same children and work together as a team. He handles surgical and endovascular evaluation and treatment while I address medical issues these children may have, such as seizures and headaches,” said Jordan.

“It makes sense to coordinate care for these patients, and they can see both of us on the same day.”

To reach the Pediatric Neurovascular Center call 875-PDNV (7368).

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