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JAMA. 2005 Feb 9;293(6):723-9.

Maternal and infant characteristics associated with perinatal arterial stroke in the infant.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA.



Perinatal arterial ischemic stroke (PAS) is a common cause of hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Risk factors for this condition have not been clearly defined.


To determine maternal and infant characteristics associated with PAS.


Case-control study nested within the cohort of all 199,176 infants born from 1997 through 2002 in the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, a managed care organization providing care for more than 3 million residents of northern California. Case patients were confirmed by review of brain imaging and medical records (n = 40). Three controls per case were randomly selected from the study population.


Association of maternal and infant complications with risk of PAS.


The population prevalence of PAS was 20 per 100,000 live births. The majority (85%) of infants with PAS were delivered at term. The following prepartum and intrapartum factors were more common among case than control infants: primiparity (73% vs 44%, P = .002), fetal heart rate abnormality (46% vs 14%, P<.001), emergency cesarean delivery (35% vs 13%, P = .002), chorioamnionitis (27% vs 11%, P = .03), prolonged rupture of membranes (26% vs 7%, P = .002), prolonged second stage of labor (25% vs 4%, P<.001), vacuum extraction (24% vs 11%, P = .04), cord abnormality (22% vs 6%, P = .01), preeclampsia (19% vs 5%, P = .01), and oligohydramnios (14% vs 3%, P = .01). Risk factors independently associated with PAS on multivariate analysis were history of infertility (odds ratio [OR], 7.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-45.0), preeclampsia (OR, 5.3; 95% CI, 1.3-22.0), prolonged rupture of membranes (OR, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.1-12.8), and chorioamnionitis (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.1-10.5). The rate of PAS increased dramatically when multiple risk factors were present.


Perinatal arterial ischemic stroke in infants is associated with several independent maternal risk factors. How these complications, along with their potential effects on the placenta and fetus, may play a role in causing perinatal stroke deserves further study.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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