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Journal of the Korean Child Neurology Society 2011;19(2):131-141.
Published online August 30, 2011.
Early Diagnosis of Perinatal Ischemic Stroke Based on Clinical and Radiological Characteristics.
Hee Su Kim, Jeehun Lee, Cha Gon Lee, Sook Hyun Nam, Hong Eo, Ji Hye Kim, Yun Sil Chang, Won Soon Park, Munhyang Lee
Department of Pediatrics and Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. mhlee091@skku.edu
Perinatal ischemic stroke (PIS) has been increasingly recognized and regarded as one of the major causes of neurological disability occurring in the neonatal period. Due to its vague presenting symptoms, the clinical diagnosis of PIS can be delayed. The aim of this study was to delineate the clinical and radiological characteristics of PIS in order to establish its early diagnosis. METHODS: From January 2002 to October 2010, 24 neonates with evidence of ischemic cerebral infarction on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled. Perinatal and neonatal clinical characteristics, electroencephalogram (EEG), and brain MRI findings were retrospectively reviewed. Using those data, analysis was done to elicit clues for early diagnosis and prognostic factors of PIS. RESULTS: Sixteen males and eight females were diagnosed with PIS. Twelve cases presented with apnea and ten patients with seizures. The diagnosis of PIS was confirmed by brain MRI. Sixteen patients (66.7%) had infarction in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, and fifteen neonates had infarction in the left hemisphere. Of 11 infants who presented with a focal lesion on brain MRI, three patients were diagnosed by diffusion weighted images (DWI). Their T2- and FLAIR sequences showed subtle signal changes, whereas DWI revealed bright signal intensity. Thirteen patients were included in the delayed diagnostic group (diagnostic interval >24 hours). In those patients, apnea (69.2%) was more likely than seizures (15.4%) to be the initial symptom. The extent of the lesion on brain MRI was likely to be a better predictor of the neurologic outcome. Hemiplegia or hemiparesis was found in seven patients who had extensive lesions involving the gray and white matter, internal capsule, and basal ganglia. CONCLUSION: PIS should be considered as a differential diagnosis for neonates who present with apnea, lethargy or subtle seizures. DWI of brain MRI is very useful for early diagnosis of PIS. The extent of the lesion was also found to be significantly associated with poor outcome.
Key Words: Stroke, Perinatal, Seizure, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Neurologic deficit


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