Intracranial vasospasm with subsequent stroke after traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage in a 22-month-old child

J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2009 Apr;3(4):311-5. doi: 10.3171/2008.12.PEDS08206.


Clinical and radiographic evidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)-related vasospasm is rare in children and has not been reported in infants. In this report the authors present the case of a 22-month-old child who developed clinically symptomatic, radiographically identifiable vasospasm after traumatic SAH. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of vasospasm associated with SAH in a child this young. This 22-month-old boy fell and had a dense SAH. He had a history of surgically corrected craniosynostosis and nonsymptomatic ventriculomegaly. The boy was evaluated for occult vascular lesions using imaging; none were found and normal vessel caliber was noted. Ten days later, the child developed left-sided weakness and a right middle cerebral artery infarct was identified. Evaluation disclosed significant intracranial vasospasm. This diagnosis was supported by findings on CT angiography, transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, MR imaging, and conventional angiography. The child was treated using intraarterial verapamil with a good result, as well as with conventional intensive care measures to reduce vasospasm. This report documents the first known case of intracranial vasospasm with stroke after SAH in a patient under the age of 2 years. This finding is important because it demonstrates that the entity of SAH-associated vasospasm can affect the very young, widening the spectrum of ages susceptible to this condition. This case is also important because it demonstrates that even very young children can respond to conventional therapeutic interventions such as intraarterial verapamil. Thus, clinicians need to be alert to the possibility of vasospasm as a potential diagnosis when evaluating young children with SAH.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cri-du-Chat Syndrome / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Traumatic / complications*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Traumatic / therapy
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / diagnosis
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / etiology*
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / therapy