Background: Cerebral sinovenous thrombosis in children is a serious disorder, and information is needed about its prevention and treatment.
Methods: The Canadian Pediatric Ischemic Stroke Registry was initiated in 1992 at the 16 pediatric tertiary care centers in Canada. Children (newborn to 18 years of age) with symptoms and radiographic confirmation of sinovenous thrombosis were included.
Results: During the first six years of the registry, 160 consecutive children with sinovenous thrombosis were enrolled, and the incidence of the disorder was 0.67 cases per 100,000 children per year. Neonates were most commonly affected. Fifty-eight percent of the children had seizures, 76 percent had diffuse neurologic signs, and 42 percent had focal neurologic signs. Risk factors included head and neck disorders (in 29 percent), acute systemic illnesses (in 54 percent), chronic systemic diseases (in 36 percent), and prothrombotic states (in 41 percent). Venous infarcts occurred in 41 percent of the children. Fifty-three percent of the children received antithrombotic agents. Neurologic deficits were present in 38 percent of the children, and 8 percent died; half the deaths were due to sinovenous thrombosis. Predictors of adverse neurologic outcomes were seizures at presentation and venous infarcts.
Conclusions: Sinovenous thrombosis in children affects primarily neonates and results in neurologic impairment or death in approximately half the cases. The occurrence of venous infarcts or seizures portends a poor outcome.