Neonatal Stroke Program

The Neonatal Stroke Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is dedicated to the evaluation, treatment and follow-up care of all newborns and infants with stroke or other cerebrovascular disorders.

Making the diagnosis of stroke in the neonate requires a high level of clinical experience, since ultrasonography may fail to detect a stroke. Our program employs state-of-the-art imaging techniques, including MRI, for accurate diagnosis. Additionally, we offer 24-hour access to continuous EEG monitoring to aid in clinical management of seizures — the most common symptom of stroke in neonates.

If your baby has had a stroke or cerebrovascular incident, you baby may be cared for as an inpatient in the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU), or evaluated and treated in the Neonatal Stroke Clinic, located within CHOP’s Division of Neurology.

Coordinated care

The Neonatal Stroke Program was established in 2005 as the first program of its kind in the United States. Part of the Pediatric Stroke Program, the Neonatal Stroke Program includes a specialized multidisciplinary team that includes:

  • Pediatric neurologists
  • Neonatologists
  • Pediatric neuroradiologists
  • Pediatric neurosurgeons
  • Interventional radiologists
  • Pediatric hematologists
  • Nurse coordinator
  • Social worker
  • Education coordinator
  • Speech and feeding pathologists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • EEG technologists

Our team provides a coordinated approach to the evaluation and treatment of children with ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage and other cerebrovascular disorders. By working together, we can provide optimal care to these complex patients.

In addition, the Neonatal Stroke Program collaborates with other specialties and centers throughout Children’s Hospital to ensure infants receive the integrated care they need.

Neonatal stroke research

Research is a key component of the Neonatal Stroke Program. We are engaged in studies to improve understanding about the causes of, treatment for, and outcomes following neonatal stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, including:

  • Single-center prospective cohort study of neonatal stroke
  • International Pediatric Stroke Study (contributing site)
  • Cognitive effects of neonatal stroke
  • Risk factors for seizure occurrence following neonatal stroke
  • Noninvasive imaging of cerebral blood flow in neonates (MRI, optical imaging)