Perinatal stroke and the risk of developing childhood epilepsy

J Pediatr. 2007 Oct;151(4):409-13, 413.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.03.058. Epub 2007 Aug 23.


Objectives: To describe the prevalence of epilepsy after 6 months of age in children with perinatal stroke and examine whether perinatal data predict epilepsy onset and resolution.

Study design: A retrospective review of 64 children with perinatal stroke. In children with at least 6 months of follow-up data, Kaplan-Meier curves, univariate log-rank tests, and Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine predictors of time to development of seizures, and time to resolution of seizures in children with epilepsy. The association of risk factors with the presence of epilepsy at any time after 6 months of age was examined using Fisher's exact test.

Results: Forty-one of the 61 children with at least 6 months of follow-up data (67%) had epilepsy between 6 months of age and last follow-up, but in 13 of 41, seizures eventually resolved and anticonvulsants were discontinued. Infarct on prenatal ultrasonography (P = .0065) and family history of epilepsy (P = .0093) were significantly associated with time to development of seizures after 6 months of age in the univariate analysis. No assessed variables were associated with time to resolution of epilepsy or with the presence of epilepsy after 6 months of age.

Conclusions: Childhood epilepsy is frequent after perinatal stroke. Evidence of infarction on prenatal ultrasonography and a family history of epilepsy predict earlier onset of active seizures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / etiology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Fetal Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Indiana / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal


  • Anticonvulsants