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Haemorrhagic stroke in term and late preterm neonates


Objective Few data regarding causes and outcomes of haemorrhagic stroke (HS) in term neonates are available. We characterised risk factors, mechanism and short-term outcomes in term and late preterm neonates with acute HS.

Design Prospective cohort.

Setting Single-centre tertiary care stroke registry.

Subjects Term and late preterm neonates (≥34 weeks gestation), born 2004–2010, with acute HS ≤28 days of life were identified, and clinical information was abstracted. Short-term outcomes were assessed via standardised neurological exam and rated using the Paediatric Stroke Outcome Measure (PSOM).

Results Among 42 neonates, median gestational age was 39.7 weeks (IQR 38–40.7 weeks). Diagnosis occurred at a median of 1 day (IQR 0–7 days) after delivery. Twenty-seven (64%) had intraparenchymal and intraventricular haemorrhage. Mechanism was haemorrhagic transformation of venous or arterial infarction in 22 (53%). Major risk factors included congenital heart disease (CHD), fetal distress and haemostatic abnormalities. Common presentations included seizure, apnoea, and poor feeding or vomiting. Acute hydrocephalus was common. Mortality was 12%. Follow-up occurred in 36/37 survivors at a median of 1 year (IQR 0.5–2.0 years). Among 17/36 survivors evaluated in stroke clinic, 47% demonstrated neurologic deficits. Deficits were mild (PSOM 0.5–1.5) in 9/36 (25%), and moderate-to-severe (PSOM ≥2.0) in 8/36 (22%).

Conclusions In our cohort with acute HS, most presented with seizures, apnoea and/or poor feeding. Fetal distress and CHD were common. Nearly two-thirds had intraparenchymal with intraventricular haemorrhage. Over half were due to haemorrhagic transformation of infarction. Short-term neurologic deficits were present in 47% of survivors.

  • Neonatal
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke
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