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Prognosis of haemorrhagic stroke in childhood: a long-term follow-up study

  • Ingrid Blom (a1), Els L L M De Schryver (a1), L Jaap Kappelle (a2), Gabriël J E Rinkel (a2), Aag Jennekens-Schinkel (a3) and A C Boudewyn Peters (a1)...

Abstract

Little is known about long-term physical sequelae, cognitive functioning, and quality of life of children who have had a haemorrhagic stroke. Fifty-six patients (29 females, 27 males) under 16 years of age at time of the bleeding were studied. Mean age at time of bleeding was 7.7 years (range 1 month to 15.9 years). The primary site and cause of the bleeding at baseline were determined. Occurrences of death, re-bleedings, and seizures during follow-up were recorded. Patients who survived were invited for a follow-up examination including physical check-up, general screening of cognition, and an inventory of subjective health perception. Thirteen children died directly as a result of the haemorrhage; nine experienced a recurrent bleeding, which was fatal in three; six children developed epileptic seizures. At follow-up 36 of 56 patients were still alive. Mean follow-up time was 10.3 years (range 1.3 to 19.9 years) and mean age was 18.6 years (range 1.8 to 34.1 years). There was no patient lost to follow-up. Five patients declined to visit the hospital. In 15 out of 31 patients who could be examined, no physical impairment was observed, 11 had a hemiparesis of varying severity, and three had symptoms of cerebellar ataxia. One child had persisting tetraparesis and one persisting paraparesis. Signs of cognitive deficits were found in 15 patients. Of the children who survive haemorrhagic stroke, the physical and functional prognosis is relatively good, as almost all children were independent at follow-up. However, only a quarter of the surviving children had no physical or cognitive deficit after a mean follow-up period of 10 years. The majority had low self-esteem as well as emotional, behavioural, and health problems.

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Corresponding author

University Medical Centre Utrecht, H.02.128, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, the Netherlands. E-mail: e.deschryver@neuro.azu.nl

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