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Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2008 Jun;25(5):409-21. doi: 10.1080/08880010802107497.

Detection and assessment of stroke in patients with sickle cell disease: neuropsychological functioning and magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90027, USA. jgold@chla.usc.edu

Abstract

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with increased risk of stroke and cognitive impairment. This study describes a retrospective review of 65 patients who underwent routine neuropsychological testing and MRI during treatment at a comprehensive sickle cell center. It was hypothesized that (1) children with no evidence of CVA would perform lower than expected on cognitive tasks compared to population-based normative data, (2) children with strokes and children with silent infarcts would perform lower on cognitive tasks and motor skills as compared to patients with no evidence of CVA, and (3) children with evidence of silent infarcts would perform better than children with known overt strokes. This final hypothesis has not been studied previously, as children with known overt stroke and silent infarct were grouped together. Sixty-five children with SCD who were sent for routine neuropsychological testing and brain MRI were identified via retrospective chart review. Patients had been administered neuropsychological tests to assess cognitive, executive and motor function. Brain MRI was obtained from each patient and was analyzed for evidence of cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Based on MRI analysis, 27% of patients with SCD had experienced a stroke and 13% a silent infarct. The majority (59%) of patients diagnosed with stroke or infarct sustained cortical damage to the frontal lobe. Patients with SCD and no evidence of CVA functioned normally on tests of cognitive ability and achievement, but patients with CVA displayed impairments in cognitive function and comparatively lower scores on verbal and performance scales. Neuropsychological testing can identify impairments in patients with SCD with no known cerebrovascular accident. Investigations of neurocognitive functioning will help characterize patterns of deficits and can inform the ability to implement comprehensive care strategies for patients with SCD and cognitive impairment.

PMID:
18569843
DOI:
10.1080/08880010802107497
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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