Workup for Perinatal Stroke Does Not Predict Recurrence

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Background and Purpose—

Perinatal stroke, including neonatal and presumed perinatal presentation, represents the age in childhood in which stroke occurs most frequently. The roles of thrombophilia, arteriopathy, and cardiac anomalies in perinatal ischemic stroke are currently unclear. We took a uniform approach to perinatal ischemic stroke evaluation to study these risk factors and their association with recurrent stroke.


We reviewed records of perinatal stroke patients evaluated from August 2008 to February 2016 at a single referral center. Demographics, echocardiography, arterial imaging, and thrombophilia testing were collected. Statistical analysis was performed using Fisher exact test.


Across 215 cases, the median follow-up was 3.17 years (1.49, 6.46). Females comprised 42.8% of cases. Age of presentation was neonatal (110, 51.2%) or presumed perinatal (105, 48.8%). The median age at diagnosis was 2.9 days (interquartile range, 2.0–9.9) for neonatal stroke and 12.9 months (interquartile range, 8.7–32.8) for presumed perinatal stroke. Strokes were classified as arterial (149, 69.3%), venous (60, 27.9%), both (4, 1.9%), or uncertain (2, 0.9%) by consensus imaging review. Of the 215 cases, there were 6 (2.8%) recurrent ischemic cerebrovascular events. Abnormal thrombophilia testing was not associated with recurrent stroke, except for a single patient with combined antithrombin deficiency and protein C deficiency. After excluding venous events, 155 patients were evaluated for arteriopathy and cardioembolic risk factors; neither was associated with recurrent stroke. Positive family history of thrombosis was not predictive of abnormal thrombophilia testing.


Thrombophilia, arteriopathy, or cardioembolic risk factors were not predictive of recurrent events after perinatal stroke. Thrombophilia evaluation in perinatal stroke should only rarely be considered.

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