Child with rare condition treated in city hospital

Moyamoya affects only one in a million people. Japanese doctors named the disease as ‘Moyamoya,’ meaning ‘puff of smoke’, to describe the appearance of tiny vessels in the brain. The child hailed from a village near Tirupati and was referred to the hospital in a prolonged unconscious state after multiple episodes of strokes and seizures.  

December 21, 2023 09:14 pm | Updated 09:14 pm IST - CHENNAI 

A seven-year-old girl who suffered from Moyamoya disease, characterised by the narrowing of blood vessels in the brain, was treated at MGM Healthcare. She has since been discharged and will be reviewed after three months.  The narrowing predisposes the patient to blocks, seizures and strokes.

Moyamoya affects only one in a million people. The child hailed from a village near Tirupati and was referred to the hospital in a prolonged unconscious state after multiple episodes of strokes and seizures.  

Roopesh Kumar, director of neurosurgery, Institute of Neurosurgery at MGM Healthcare here said a cerebral angiogram was done to understand the blood flow that helped doctors confirm the disease. 

Japanese doctors named the disease as ‘Moyamoya’ (puff of smoke) to describe the appearance of tiny vessels in the brain. The disease is identified in children mostly, resulting in ministrokes and aneurysms (swelling of blood vessels) or bleeding in the brain. Such children could have cognitive and developmental delays or disabilities. 

Dr. Kumar explained that when the blood vessels get blocked, tiny vessels are created to bypass the blocked vessels to restore blood supply to the brain. In a 6-hour surgery the doctors connected the small vessels to increase blood circulation. In children the blood vessels are less than 1mm in diameter making it a challenge to suture them, he explained. 

“She was put on ventilator and became comatose. Earlier indirect bypass was done to restore blood flow,” he said. But now doctors operate directly in the brain. “On this child, we did the surgery on the left side of the brain. After three months we will operate on the right side,” he added.  

Early diagnosis could help treat the condition and such children could live a normal life. The child will be on blood thinners and every six months she will undergo MRI, Dr. Kumar said.  

Her father is a farmer and could not afford the treatment. The hospital heavily subsidised the cost which could be anywhere above ₹4.5 lakh depending on the hospital stay.  

 

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