Background and aims Paediatric stroke, although uncommon when compared to adult stroke, has a high mortality and morbidity rate. Between 2 and 13 children per 100,000 per year are likely to have a stroke, with 5% - 10% resulting in death and more than 50% developing neurological and cognitive defects. The aim was to review the current literature and discuss risk factors, aetiology, presentation and management of paediatric stroke.
Methods Literature review.
Results Paediatric stroke is more common amongst boys and is classified as arterial ischaemic or haemorrhagic, depending on the underlying causes. However no type of paediatric stroke is predominant over the other. There is a broad spectrum of risk factors associated with paediatric stroke and the underlying cause often involves multiple factors such as arteriopathies, maternal infections and haematological disorders. The common risk factors of hypertension or diabetes associated with adult stroke play a very minor role in paediatric stroke development. Paediatric stroke is often misdiagnosed or diagnosed at a very late stage due to the non-specific clinical presentation which depends on factors such as age and type of stroke. The medical or surgical management of paediatric stroke depends on the type, aetiology, timing and the extent of the stroke.
Conclusion Paediatric Stroke is a challenging condition in which few distinct guidelines of the most appropriate treatment exist. Further research and studies should be carried out since much of the knowledge and guidelines are currently based on adult stroke.