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Jeremiah Johnson, John Ragheb, Ruchira Garg, William Patten, David I. Sandberg, and Sanjiv Bhatia

Neurogenic stunned myocardium (NSM) is a syndrome of cardiac stunning after a neurological insult. It is commonly observed after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage but is increasingly being reported after other neurological events. The underlying mechanism of NSM is believed to be a hypothalamic-mediated sympathetic surge causing weakened cardiac contractility and even direct cardiac myocyte damage. The authors report 2 cases of NSM in pediatric patients after acute hydrocephalus. Both patients experienced severe cardiac dysfunction in the acute phase but ultimately had a good neurological outcome and a full cardiac recovery. The identification, treatment, and outcome in 2 rare pediatric cases of NSM are discussed, and the history of the brain-cardiac connection is reviewed.