Prognosis of ischemic stroke in childhood: a long-term follow-up study

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2000 May;42(5):313-8. doi: 10.1017/s0012162200000554.


Little is known about long-term physical sequelae, cognitive functioning, and quality of life in children who have experienced ischemic stroke. Thirty-seven patients under 16 years of age were studied; the median interval after stroke was 7 years. CT-scans were reassessed to determine the type of infarction at baseline. Occurrences of death, of new cardiovascular events, and of seizures during follow-up were recorded. Surviving patients were invited for a follow-up examination, including physical check-up, global screening of cognition, and an inventory of subjective health perception. Only two patients were lost to follow-up. During follow-up four died, nine developed seizures, eight had transient ischemic attacks, and two experienced a recurrent ischemic stroke. None of the patients had cardiac complications during follow-up. In 11 of 27, no functional impairment was found, in 15 there was a hemiparesis of varying severity, and in one a paraplegia. There was a significant shift in cognitive functioning towards lower levels, especially in children with epilepsy. Remedial teaching was frequently needed. Many of the parents' perceived their child's behavior to be very changeable. Three-quarters of the children considered themselves as healthy as other children, and almost all of them as happy. The physical and functional prognosis after ischemic stroke in childhood is relatively good, particularly in children with no serious causative illness, but special education is often needed and social changes occur.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Infarction / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemiplegia / diagnosis
  • Hemiplegia / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Paraplegia / diagnosis
  • Paraplegia / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed