BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - The purposes of this study were to describe features of children with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and to determine predictors of short-term outcome in a single-center prospective cohort study.
METHODS - A single-center prospective consecutive cohort study was conducted of spontaneous ICH in children aged 1 to 18 years from January 2006 to June 2008. Exclusion criteria were inciting trauma; intracranial tumor; isolated epidural, subdural, intraventricular, or subarachnoid hemorrhage; hemorrhagic transformation of ischemic stroke; and cerebral sinovenous thrombosis. Hospitalization records were abstracted. Follow-up assessments included outcome scores using the Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure and King's Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury. ICH volumes and total brain volumes were measured by manual tracing.
RESULTS - Twenty-two patients, median age 10.3 years (range, 4.2 to 16.6 years), had presenting symptoms of headache in 77%, focal deficits 50%, altered mental status 50%, and seizures 41%. Vascular malformations caused hemorrhage in 91%. Surgical treatment (hematoma evacuation, lesion embolization or excision) was performed during acute hospitalization in 50%. One patient died acutely. At a median follow-up of 3.5 months (range, 0.3 to 7.5 months), 71% of survivors had neurological deficits; 55% had clinically significant disability. Outcome based on Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure and King's Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury scores was worse in patients with ICH volume >2% of total brain volume (P=0.023) and altered mental status at presentation (P=0.005).
CONCLUSIONS - Spontaneous childhood ICH was due mostly to vascular malformations. Acute surgical intervention was commonly performed. Although death was rare, 71% of survivors had persisting neurological deficits. Larger ICH volume and altered mental status predicted clinically significant disability.