Presumed pre- or perinatal arterial ischemic stroke: risk factors and outcomes

Ann Neurol. 2001 Aug;50(2):163-8. doi: 10.1002/ana.1078.


A subgroup of children with arterial ischemic stroke in the pre- or perinatal period present with delayed diagnosis. We identified 22 children who met the following criteria: (1) normal neonatal neurological history, (2) hemiparesis and/or seizures first recognized after two months of age, and (3) computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging showing remote cerebral infarct. Laboratory evaluations included protein C, protein S, antithrombin, activated protein C resistance screen (APCR), Factor V Leiden (FVL), prothrombin gene defect, methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase variant (MTHFR), anticardiolipin antibody (ACLA), and lupus anticoagulant. Not all children received all tests. Age at last visit ranged from 8 months to 16.5 years (median 4 years). Twelve were boys. Fourteen had left hemisphere infarcts. Median age at presentation was 6 months. Eighteen had gestational complications. Fourteen children had at least transient coagulation abnormalities (ACLA = 11, ACLA + APCR = 1, APCR = 2 with FVL + MTHFR = 1); six of these children had family histories suggestive of thrombosis. Cardiac echocardiogram was unremarkable in the 15 tested. Outcomes included persistent hemiparesis in 22; speech, behavior, or learning problems in 12; and persistent seizures in five, with no evidence of further stroke in any patient. The persistence and importance of coagulation abnormalities in this group need further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / etiology*
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Perinatal Care
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed