Pediatric Strokes Happen More Often Than Reported

Pediatric Strokes Happen More Often Than Reported

Reported September 18, 2009

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Imaging studies show the rate of strokes in infants and children is two to four times higher than commonly thought, according to researchers.

“Traditional methods using diagnostic codes work fairly well to identify stroke in studies on adults, but they miss a large proportion of cases when applied to infants and children,” Heather J. Fullerton, M.D., senior author of the study and associate professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco was quoted as saying.

Authors say many pediatric strokes go unreported due to typing errors. Also, some researchers are not accustomed to applying stroke codes to children.



Parents should not be alarmed, experts say. Pediatric stokes are rare. In an analysis of 2.3 million children, 205 cases of ischemic stroke were confirmed. The rate of 2.4 strokes per 100,000 persons annually is two to four times higher than previous estimates, although still a low percentage.

Ischemic strokes happen when a blood clot interrupts blood flow to part of the brain. Although uncommon in children, it brings a lifetime burden of motor and cognitive disabilities.

SOURCE: Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009