The burden of paediatric stroke and cerebrovascular disorders in Croatia

Int J Stroke. 2009 Oct;4(5):390-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2009.00321.x.


Pediatric stroke is significantly less common than stroke in adults, but represents a major challenge to public health authorities. The aim of this retrospective study was to identify the total and annual number of children younger than 18 years with arterial ischaemic stroke and transient ischaemic attack referred to the Children's Hospital Zagreb, which is a major national centre specialised for the treatment and prevention of stroke in children. We reviewed the medical records of the Department of Neuropediatrics database at the Children's Hospital Zagreb between 1998-2005 in order to provide demographic and clinical characteristics and neuroimaging findings in children with arterial ischaemic stroke. In the 7-year period, we identified a total of 124 children from different geographic areas of Croatia with a confirmed diagnosis of transient ischaemic attack (N=77), and arterial ischaemic stroke (N=47). Perinatal and childhood arterial ischaemic stroke were equally represented (23 and 24 children, respectively). The average number of new cases identified each year was 18 cases (range: 12-21), seven arterial ischaemic stroke and 11 transient ischaemic attack cases. Male predominance was found in children with arterial ischaemic stroke with a male : female ratio of 1.76 : 1, and was slightly higher in childhood arterial ischaemic stroke compared with perinatal arterial ischaemic stroke (2 : 1 and 1.56 : 1, respectively). In contrast, transient ischaemic attack was more frequently found in girls, and more likely identified in older children compared with younger children with arterial ischaemic stroke. Obtained data will contribute to better understanding of paediatric stroke in Croatia and will provide a base for the establishment of the national referral center and national pediatric stroke registry.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology
  • Child
  • Croatia / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / diagnosis
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / epidemiology*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Stroke / classification
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult