Book Review: Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease in Childhood

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Book Review: Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease in Childhood International Review of Child Neurology Series
Edited by Vijeya Ganesan, Fenella Kirkham
London : Mac Keith Press , 2011 .
£145.00, €174.00 (Hardback), pp 412 .
ISBN : 978-1-898683-34-6

Cerebrovascular disorders are an important cause of long-term morbidity and they can have devastating consequences for children and their families. Publication of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease in Childhood, edited by Vijeya Ganesan and Fenella Kirkham, is timely given the recent advances in understanding of risk factors, disease mechanisms, and outcome.

The chapters, written by a group of international experts, are well laid out with excellent illustrative figures and summary tables. The opening chapter puts cerebrovascular disorders into historical perspective and describes the significant advances in knowledge which have occurred since the first international symposium on childhood stroke in 1998.

The textbook has several highlights. The chapters on risk factors explore the role of infection and immune-inflammatory reactions in cryptogenic arterial stroke and provide a comprehensive overview of the conditions associated with symptomatic arterial ischaemic stroke. There are good sections on cardiac disorders, sickle cell disease, and moyamoya disease. The importance of a detailed diagnostic workup is emphasized throughout the text and the section on neuroimaging provides an excellent summary of recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging. There is also an excellent section summarizing the outcome literature, with the authors providing a good overview of the range of assessment tools used to measure functional outcome in stroke.

Intracranial haemorrhage and vein of Galen malformations are usually managed by neurosurgeons and interventional radiologists, but the chapters on these conditions are well written and will be of interest to paediatric neurologists. Alternating hemiplegia of childhood and inborn errors of metabolism may not be considered to be vascular disorders, but they are worthy of mention as acute neurological syndromes presenting with focal stroke-like symptoms.

In the final chapter the editors summarize recent advances in the field including the use of population-based data sets, and multicentre registries to understand risk factors and stroke mechanisms. They conclude with a list of priorities including the need for increased international collaborative research to achieve progress, elucidating the role of infection in stroke pathogenesis, interventional trials, and application of advanced neuroimaging techniques.

This book deserves its place in the International Review of Child Neurology Series and will serve as an excellent reference text for paediatric neurologists, neuropaediatricians, allied health professionals, and others involved in the care of newborn infants and children affected by cerebrovascular disorders.

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