Children's Hospital Colorado Stroke Program
Children's Hospital Colorado Stroke Program combines the expertise of Children's Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado Denver Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center to treat pediatric patients who have suffered a stroke, or children who may be at risk for stroke due to other medical conditions. The program, established in 2006, provides a variety of services for pediatric stroke patients and their families in a comprehensive multidisciplinary setting.
Why choose Children's Hospital Colorado Stroke Program?
The multidisciplinary stroke team at Children’s is focused solely on treating infants, children and teens who have suffered a pediatric stroke. Our pediatric stroke doctors have devoted their careers to caring for children who experience a stroke and strive to provide the best possible outcomes for their patients.
Strokes in children occur less commonly than in adults, but the consequences can be equally devastating. Because a stroke is a rare disorder in children, optimal stroke care for them requires expertise from a variety of pediatric medical specialties, including hematology, neurology, radiology, rehabilitation, neurosurgery, neuropsychology, cardiology and other areas.
Our unique stroke alert system ensures that one of our stroke team members is available 24/7 to consult on stroke cases. In addition, our in-hospital alert system quickly brings doctors and nurses throughout our hospital together and to our stroke patients.
What is a stroke?
There are two major types of strokes:
- Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding.
- Ischemic strokes are caused by lack of blood flow, oxygen and/or or nutrients to the brain - often triggered by a clot.
In children, strokes can be caused by abnormalities in blood vessels in the brain or neck, excess clotting, sickle cell disease and certain heart or metabolic conditions. Often, however, the cause of strokes in children remains unclear. About only 2-6 out of every 100,000 children in the U.S. will suffer a stroke each year.
Signs and symptoms of a stroke in children can include:
- One-sided weakness or numbness
- Facial droop; slurred speech
- Sudden change in vision; difficulties with walking, balance or coordination
- Unexplained change in level of consciousness
The Children’s Hospital Stroke Program has three comprehensive care clinics, each occurring on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
- Arterial Ischemic Strokes (AIS) clinic
- Hemorrhagic stroke clinic
- Cerebral Sinovenous Thrombosis (CSVT) clinic
Specific conditions treated
- Arterial ischemic strokes
- Hemorrhagic strokes
- Recurrent transient ischemic attack
- Moyamoya syndrome/disease
- Neonatal hemorrhagic strokes
- Cerebral Sinovenous Thrombosis (CSVT) - venous stroke, secondary to a clot in one of the major veins in the head.
- Thrombophilia - a condition of increased risk for developing blood clots in the veins or arteries due to increased blood clotting.
- Neurological evaluation
- Neuropscyhological testing
- Hematological evaluation
- Hypercoagulability (thrombophilia) testing
- Bleeding disorder testing
- Antithrombotic management
- Anticoagulant monitoring
- Rehabilitation medicine evaluation and care
- Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (MRI), MR angiography (MRA), Computed tomography (CT), CT angiography (CTA), CT venography (CTV), Conventional angiography
- Preventive medicine
- Local and international research
- Clinical trials
The Stroke Program at Children’s is a contributing member of the International Pediatric Stroke Study, an international group dedicated to research in childhood strokes. Our team also receives funding from the National Institute of Health and the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute that is dedicated to searching for the appropriate treatments for childhood strokes.
In addition, we are part of ongoing research efforts in the following areas:
- Coagulation markers as predictors of outcomes in childhood strokes
- Lipoprotein(a) as a risk factor for childhood AIS
- Maternal and fetal risk factors in neonatal strokes
- Relationships between stroke risk factors, treatments and outcomes.