UO di Neuropsichiatria Infantile, Policlinico S. Orsola - Malpighi, Università di Bologna
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Key words: Stroke, Children, Etiology, Diagnosis, Therapy, Case report
According to the definition given by WHO, stroke is a clinical syndrome characterized by rapid appearance of a focal neurologic deficit lasting more than 24 hours and determined by arterial or venous occlusion or rupture. The incidence of stroke is about 3-10/100,000 children, mainly in neonatal period. Stroke is among the top ten causes of death in childhood, it is more common than brain tumor and it represents a major cause of disability in children. The identification of the main arteriosclerosis risk factors in adults (diabetes, smoke and hypertension) allowed to develop preventive and therapeutic strategies for them, whereas in pediatric age the knowledge of risk factors, etiology and treatment are still limited. Some risk factors have been identified, but in about 25% of cases the stroke is cryptogenic. Nevertheless, there are many factors that may lead to an onset of stroke in children and therefore accurate diagnostic tests are essential to identify causes, to activate timely therapies and to reduce risks of relapse. Detecting the causes of ischemic events does not only mean being able to choose the proper therapeutic treatment, but also enables to identify those patients risking relapse and therefore influences secondary prevention.
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