Iraqi boy overcomes rare vein disorder in Delhi

December 14th, 2010 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) Sohran Jaffar from Iraq had lost all hope when his son Sirwan was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder three years ago that stopped blood supply to his brain, resulting in a bulging left eye. The eight-year-old is almost normal now, thanks to Indian doctors.Sirwan was happily playing around Tuesday at the Max Hospital in south Delhi after he was successfully operated in November for the life-threatening disorder called Vein of Galen Aneurysmal Malformation (VGAM).

“In Sirwan’s case, blood supply to the brain was not possible because the blood-carrier jugular veins were blocked. The blood supply was taking place through the veins in the eye region,” Shakir Hussain, senior neurologist at Max Hospital in Saket where the boy was operated, told IANS.

“As a result, his head was large, the left eye was bulging and a congested spread of veins could be seen over his face. This is a dangerous condition because it could lead to heart failure and brain haemorrhage, apart from stunted brain growth,” Hussain said.

VGAM, a rare circumstance of abnormality between the blood carriers such as arteries and veins, blocks the necessary blood supply to interior parts of the brain.

A team of seven neuro-interventionists, mainly neurologists and neurosurgeons, conducted a complicated brain-angiography on Sirwan’s malformed brain vessels using a liquid glue injection.

Sirwan was discharged around 10 days back. On Tuesday, he came to the hospital with his father to interact with mediapersons. He will be going back to Kirkuk in Iraq soon.

But the doctors will monitor Sirwan’s condition for another year in collaboration with doctors in Iraq before finally declaring him free of VGAM.

“VGAM is so rare that we usually get to see one patient per 50,000 live births in our country. It’s a genetic disorder targeting children by birth,” Hussain said.

The specific causes of the disorder are still not known.

“Pregnant women should go for a regular ultrasound check as the disorder can be detected at that time. Early diagnosis is the best way to prevent VGAM,” neurologist Rohitash Sharma told IANS.

The common symptoms of the disease in children born with VGAM are disproportionate head size, fits and heart failure. The average cost of a VGAM operation is Rs.10-12 lakh in India.

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