Spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage in children: aetiology, presentation and outcome

Brain Dev. 2003 Sep;25(6):416-21. doi: 10.1016/s0387-7604(03)00029-9.


We are aware of only few reports addressing spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage (SICH) in non-selected series of children. This is a retrospective analysis of clinical presentation and outcome in 34 children with SICH seen in the period 1990-2000 in our hospital. Traumatic, neonatal and subdural haemorrhages were excluded. The majority (47%, 16/34) of SICH was caused by an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). SICH was presented as an acute event in 53% (17/32) of patients. Forty-seven percent (15/32) of the cases had protracted courses, which made the diagnosis difficult. In our series, younger children had less specific symptoms. Mortality (25%, 8/32) and morbidity were considerable, particularly in infratentorial haemorrhages, in aneurysms, in children younger than 3 years and in those with underlying haematological disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hematologic Diseases / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / complications
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / etiology*
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / mortality
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / physiopathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed