Iron deficiency: a cause of stroke in infants and children

Pediatr Neurol. 1997 Jan;16(1):50-3. doi: 10.1016/s0887-8994(96)00290-1.


Iron deficiency is a common pediatric problem affecting 20%-25% of the world's infants. Most commonly causing anemia, iron deficiency is also implicated in such neurologic sequelae as irritability, lethargy, headaches, developmental delay, and infrequently papilledema, pseudotumor cerebri, and cranial nerve abnormalities. Rarely has iron deficiency been recognized as a significant cause of stroke in the adult or pediatric populations. We report a series of 6 children, 6 to 18 months of age, who presented with an ischemic stroke or venous thrombosis after a viral prodrome. All patients had iron deficiency as a consistent finding among the group, and other known etiologies of childhood stroke were excluded. These patients provide evidence of a strong association between iron deficiency and ischemic events in children between 6 and 18 months of age.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / complications*
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Brain Ischemia / etiology
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Infarction / etiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / etiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / diagnosis
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / etiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed