Neurodevelopment After Perinatal Arterial Ischemic Stroke

Pediatrics. 2018 Sep;142(3):e20174164. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-4164. Epub 2018 Aug 2.


Background and objectives: Perinatal arterial ischemic stroke (PAIS) leads to cerebral palsy in ∼30% of affected children and has other neurologic sequelae. Authors of most outcome studies focus on middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke without differentiating between site and extent of affected tissue. Our aim with this study was to report outcomes after different PAIS subtypes.

Methods: Between 1990 and 2015, 188 term infants from 2 centers (London [n = 79] and Utrecht [n = 109]) had PAIS on their neonatal MRI. Scans were reevaluated to classify stroke territory and determine specific tissue involvement. At 18 to 93 (median 41.7) months, adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes were recorded as 1 or more of cerebral palsy, cognitive deficit, language delay, epilepsy, behavioral problems, or visual field defect.

Results: The MCA territory was most often involved (90%), with posterior or anterior cerebral artery territory strokes occurring in 9% and 1%, respectively. Three infants died, and 24 had scans unavailable for reevaluation or were lost to follow-up. Of 161 infants seen, 54% had an adverse outcome. Outcomes were the same between centers. Main branch MCA stroke resulted in 100% adverse outcome, whereas other stroke subtypes had adverse outcomes in only 29% to 57%. The most important outcome predictors were involvement of the corticospinal tracts and basal ganglia.

Conclusions: Although neurodevelopmental outcome was adverse in at least 1 domain with main branch MCA stroke, in other PAIS subtypes outcome was favorable in 43% to 71% of children. Site and tissue involvement is most important in determining the outcome in PAIS.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child
  • Child Development* / physiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends
  • Male
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / etiology
  • Perinatal Care / trends*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*