Infant and Childhood Stroke Fact Sheet
is a stroke?
A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when the blood supply
to any part of the brain is
interrupted, resulting in tissue death and loss of brain function.
If blood flow is
interrupted for longer than a few seconds, brain cells can die, causing
causes a stroke in an infant or child?
stroke may be caused by a blood clot that forms in the brain (a thrombus)
or a blood clot, piece of plaque, or other material that travels to the
brain from another location (an embolism). The resulting stroke-related symptoms depend on the area
of the brain affected, the extent of the damage, and the cause of the
stroke. Bleeding (hemorrhage) within
the brain can, on rare occasions, cause symptoms that mimic stroke.
of strokes: Ischemic Stroke, Hemorrhagic Stroke
Strokes are classified as either ischemic or hemorrhagic.
In children, ischemic stroke
is more common than hemorrhagic stroke.
An arterial ischemic
stroke is due to a blockage of
the inflow of arterial blood.
A hemorrhagic stroke ocurs
when a blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures.
Before 28 days of age: Perinatal stroke encompasses cerebrovascular events that occur between the
28 weeks of gestation and one month following birth. A stroke that
occurs before birth may also be called an in-utero stroke or fetal
stroke. Another term
often used in this group is prenatal stroke. Prenatal stroke
occurs in the period before birth Stroke occurs more frequently in
the perinatal and prenatal age group than in older children.
Childhood stroke occurs between 1 month and 18 years of age.
Arterial ischemic stroke around the time of birth is recognized in one in
4000 full-term infants (2).
Arterial ischemic stroke which occurs in childhood ranges from 0.6 to 7.9 per 100,000 children (1).
The incidence of hemorrhagic
stroke in children is estimated at 1.5 to 5.1 per 100,000 children per
Stroke Information (all ages)
(1) Cerebrovascular Disorders in
Children, John Kylan Lynch, DO, Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
(2) Stroke in newborn infants., Nelson, KB, Lynch, JK. Lancet Neurology,
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