A disease like moyamoya is so rare it only affects a few hundred children in the world. So few moyamoya cases are reported each year that many hospitals don’t have much of a track record or experience in treating the disease, in which the thickening of cerebral arteries reduces blood flow to the brain and require the formation of a network of tiny but weak arties to provide an ‘alternate route’ for the blood to reach the brain. These arteries are so small and closely aligned they resemble wisps of smoke on some tests. (Moyamoya means ‘puff of smoke’ in Japanese, hence the disease’s name.)
Children’s Hospital Boston, however, has been successfully treating kids with moyamoya for two decades using a special procedure developed by Children’s researchers and scientists.
As part of a webcast that will air live at 10 a.m. tomorrow, neurosurgeons from Children’s will telecast an operation on a young moyamoya patient, giving the virtual audience a bedside view of the surgical team’s cutting-edge procedure.