Intracranial Hemorrhage in Children: An Evolving Spectrum | Congenital Defects | JAMA Neurology | JAMA Network
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Original Contribution
December 2008

Intracranial Hemorrhage in Children: An Evolving Spectrum

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Lo and Roach and Mss Lee and Perkins), Neurology (Drs Lo and Roach), and Radiology (Dr Rusin), The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.

Arch Neurol. 2008;65(12):1629-1633. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2008.502

Background  Nontraumatic intracranial hemorrhages (ICHs) are uncommon in children, but are important causes of death and injury.

Objectives  To determine whether the risk factors for ICH have changed compared with those in earlier published series and to estimate the residual deficits in the survivors.

Design, Setting, and Patients  We performed a retrospective review of patients admitted to a single tertiary care, academic pediatric hospital from January 1, 2000, through May 31, 2007. Records were retrieved if the diagnostic codes from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, were pertinent to ICHs. We searched reports from computed tomograms and magnetic resonance images of the brain for terms pertaining to ICH.

Main Outcome Measures  Risk factors and functional outcome. Secondary measures were hemorrhage type and clinical presentation.

Results  We identified 85 children who had nontraumatic ICH. There were 10 subarachnoid, 61 intracerebral, and 14 subdural hemorrhages. Intracranial vascular anomalies were the most frequent risk factor, followed by congenital heart disease and brain tumors. Arteriovenous malformations did not account for as large a percentage as in previous studies. Twenty-nine children died. Of the 48 survivors for whom follow-up information was available, 26 had no reported deficits and 22 had deficits ranging from mild to severe.

Conclusions  In this series, brain tumors and congenital heart disease accounted for a greater proportion of ICHs than in previous studies. The mortality due to ICH remains high but may be related as much to the severity of the underlying illnesses as to the hemorrhage itself. We found significant long-term morbidity, but more than half of the survivors for whom follow-up data were available had no detectable deficits. A long-term outcome study of pediatric ICH is needed.