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Indian J Pediatr. 2003 Aug;70(8):639-48.

Stroke in children.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Stroke is defined as the sudden occlusion or rupture of cerebral arteries or veins resulting in focal cerebral damage and neurological deficits. Forms of stroke resulting from vascular occlusion are arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) and sinovenous thrombosis (SVT) and those resulting from vascular rupture are called hemorrhagic stroke. Stroke in children is relatively rare and frequently results in a lack of recognition and delay in diagnosis. The etiologies of stroke in children are legion and multiple risk factors coexist unlike unifactorial etiology in adults. Heart disease whether congenital or acquired, malformations, metabolic and hematological disorders and vasospastic conditions like migraine are seen more often in childhood strokes. The purpose of diagnostic evaluation includes confirmation of the presence of a cerebrovascular lesion, exclusion of other types of neurological dysfunction and identification of etiology of the stroke. The treatment of stroke in children has been primarily directed toward stabilizing systemic factors and management of the underlying causes. Various antithrombotic and non antithrombotic therapies are discussed. The use of anticoagulant therapy appears to be increasing in pediatric AIS. Mortality after stroke in children ranges from 20% to 30% depending on the location and the underlying cause. Residual neurological dysfunction is present in more than 50% of survivors.

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