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Pediatric Moyamoya Biomarkers: Narrowing the Knowledge Gap.

Moyamoya is a progressive cerebrovascular disorder that leads to stenosis of the arteries in the distal internal carotid, proximal middle cerebral and proximal anterior cerebral arteries of the circle of Willis. Typically a network of collaterals form to bypass the stenosis and maintain cerebral blood flow. As moyamoya progresses it affects the anterior circulation more commonly than posterior circulation, and cerebral blood flow becomes increasingly reliant on external carotid supply. Children with moyamoya are at increased risk for ischemic symptoms including stroke and transient ischemic attacks (TIA). In addition, cognitive decline may occur over time, even in the absence of clinical stroke. Standard of care for stroke prevention in children with symptomatic moyamoya is revascularization surgery. Treatment of children with asymptomatic moyamoya with revascularization surgery however remains more controversial. Therefore, biomarkers are needed to assist with not only diagnosis but also with determining ischemic risk and identifying best surgical candidates. In this review we will discuss the current knowledge as well as gaps in research in relation to pediatric moyamoya biomarkers including neurologic presentation, cognitive, neuroimaging, genetic and biologic biomarkers of disease severity and ischemic risk.

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