Recurrent stroke in childhood cancer survivors

Neurology. 2015 Sep 22;85(12):1056-64. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001951. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


Objective: To estimate the rates and predictors of recurrent stroke among survivors of pediatric cancer who have had a first stroke.

Methods: The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study is a retrospective cohort study with longitudinal follow-up that enrolled 14,358 survivors (<21 years old at diagnosis; diagnosed 1970-1986; survived ≥5 years after cancer diagnosis) and followed them prospectively since 1994. We surveyed 443 survivors who reported a first stroke to identify recurrent stroke, and estimated recurrent stroke rates ≥5 years after cancer diagnosis.

Results: Among 329 respondents (74% response rate), 271 confirmed a first stroke at a median age of 19 years (range 0-53), and 70 reported a second stroke at a median age of 32 years (range 1-56). In a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, independent predictors of recurrent stroke included cranial radiation therapy (CRT) dose of ≥50 Gy (vs none, hazard ratio [HR] 4.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4-13.7), hypertension (HR 1.9; 95% CI 1.0-3.5), and older age at first stroke (HR 6.4; 95% CI 1.8-23; for age ≥40 vs age 0-17 years). The 10-year cumulative incidence of late recurrent stroke was 21% (95% CI 16%-27%) overall, and 33% (95% CI 21%-44%) for those treated with ≥50 Gy of CRT.

Conclusion: Survivors of childhood cancer, particularly those previously treated with high-dose cranial radiation, have a high risk of recurrent stroke for decades after a first stroke. Although these strokes are mostly occurring in young adulthood, hypertension, an established atherosclerotic risk factor, independently predicts recurrent stroke in this population.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Survivors*
  • Young Adult