Pediatric Brain Aneurysms and AVMs

Pediatric brain aneurysms represent a silent yet profoundly impactful threat to children’s health and well-being. Aneurysms in children under 18 years of age are rare. In contrast to adults, brain aneurysms in children occur more often in males than in females (by a 1:8 to 1 ratio). This suggests that the formation of pediatric brain aneurysms is different than that of adults. This blog post, we will discuss pediatric brain aneurysms, exploring their challenges, and ways to support and advocate.

Understanding Pediatric Brain Aneurysms:

Pediatric brain aneurysms are not as well understood as brain aneurysms in adults. However, it has been observed that approximately 20 percent of aneurysms in children are so-called giant aneurysms (larger than 2.5 cm in diameter), and that children are four times more likely to present with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) than without SAH. 

Causes and Risk Factors:

Although they can occur with no known cause, aneurysms in children are commonly associated with severe head trauma, connective tissue disorders, or infection. A tendency to develop aneurysms can sometimes run in families or can occur as part of a genetic disorder, such as Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.

A Call for Awareness and Advocacy:

Raising awareness about pediatric brain aneurysms is critical. Healthcare professionals, parents, educators, and policymakers must be informed about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options of brain aneurysms. By advocating for increased research funding, we can improve outcomes for all brain aneurysm patients. Click here to reach out to your legislators.

Meet the Panel:

Todd Helton, a devoted father who tragically lost his 11-year-old daughter, Ellie, to a pediatric aneurysm rupture and is now actively involved in the “Live Like Ellie” initiative and  working alongside the BAF to pass “Ellie’s Law” (H.R. 902 & S. 895). Ken and Daniel Trush, a father-son duo, Daniel who survived a pediatric aneurysm rupture and founded Daniel’s Music Foundation to bring joy and healing through music. Dr. Deanna Sasaki-Adams, from UNC Medical School and Dr. Alfred See and Dr. Ana Ubeda Tikkanen from Boston Children’s Hospital.