Aim: To report the clinical presentation, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, and follow-up data of newborn infants with perinatal arterial ischemic stroke in the territory of the posterior cerebral artery (PCA).
Method: Data on 18 newborn infants from three neonatal intensive care units (11 males, seven females) with an MRI-confirmed PCA stroke were analysed and reported. Infants were born at a mean gestational age of 38.7 weeks (SD 3.4) with a mean birthweight of 3244g (SD 850).
Results: Fourteen infants presented with clinical seizures. Five of these had associated hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, four had hypoglycaemia, and five had neither hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy nor hypoglycaemia. Subclinical seizures were present in one infant with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and one with meningitis. One preterm infant presented with apnoeas and one had hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy without seizures. Neurodevelopmental follow-up of 17 children at a median age of 36 months (SD 28, range 12-120mo) showed five with a global delay. Two children with additional injury developed postneonatal epilepsy and one child with extensive injury developed hemiplegia. A visual field defect was observed in nine children (six hemianopia, three quadrantanopia). In the 11 children with a second MRI at 3 months, the asymmetry of the optic radiation correlated with the development of a visual field deficit.
Interpretation: Outcome after PCA stroke is fairly good, depending on additional brain injury. Follow-up is required, as subsequent visual field defects are frequently observed. Further research will be needed to clarify the role of hypoglycaemia in perinatal arterial ischemic stroke.
© The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology © 2013 Mac Keith Press.