Imaging in paediatric stroke

Author(s): Dr Nicholas McGlashan, Dr Christopher Johns, Dr Daniel Connolly

Hospital: Sheffield Children's Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 43, 506, 21-22


Stroke is defined as a cerebrovascular abnormality that results in a rapid onset of neurological symptoms lasting longer than 24 hours or causing death. Stroke in children is an under-recognised condition, despite being a common cause of childhood death. The neonate is particularly vulnerable, with neonatal stroke being nine times more common than in the general paediatric population. The aetiology of stroke in children is markedly different to adults. Stroke in children is due to infarction and haemorrhage from various causes in equal proportions. This is in comparison to ischaemic stroke from atherosclerosis that accounts for 80-90% of adult strokes. Diagnosing stroke is challenging in children as signs and symptoms can be difficult to elicit, or subtle, especially in neonates. For this reason, children often present in a delayed fashion. This makes neuroimaging vitally important in the early diagnosis or exclusion of stroke in the acutely unwell child where their capacity for recovery is greater than in the adult population.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read more