Thalamic Hemorrhagic Stroke in the Term Newborn: A Specific Neonatal Syndrome With Non-uniform Outcome

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Neonatal thalamic hemorrhagic stroke is related to cerebral sinus venous thrombosis and associated with neurological sequelae. Predicting factors are however lacking.


Clinical and radiological findings at onset and on follow-up of 5 neonates with thalamic hemorrhage stroke are described.


All neonates presented with abrupt lethargy, ophistotonos, irritability and/or seizures. The thalamic hemorrhagic stroke was most often unilateral (4/5), involving the posterior/entire thalamus in 3 cases and the anterior thalamus in 2. Cerebral venous thrombosis was identified in a single patient. At follow-up, children with unilateral anterior thalamic hemorrhagic stroke demonstrated thalamic atrophy without neurological symptoms, whereas children whose thalamus lesion was extensive exhibit a porencephalic cavity and presented with late-onset epilepsy.


Although deep cerebral venous thrombosis is probably the cause of neonatal thalamic hemorrhagic stroke, its radiological evidence is challenging. Outcome seems dependent of the size and location of thalamic hemorrhagic stroke. Epilepsy is a frequent morbidity after thalamic hemorrhagic stroke.

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