Accuracy of neurologic examination and history in detecting evidence of MRI-diagnosed cerebral infarctions in children with sickle cell hemoglobinopathy.

Glauser TA, Siegel MJ, Lee BC, DeBaun MR
J Child Neurol. 1995 10 (2): 88-92

PMID: 7782614 · DOI:10.1177/088307389501000203

We determined the accuracy of neurologic examination and the history of a previous neurologic event in detecting clinical evidence of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-diagnosed cerebral infarction in 30 children with sickle cell hemoglobinopathy. Each patient had an MRI of the brain, neurologic examination, chart review, and psychometric evaluation. Seventeen children (57%) had MRI evidence of cerebral infarction based on demonstration of parenchymal abnormalities in a vascular distribution. Among the 17 children with MRI evidence of cerebral infarction, only 12 (71%) had an abnormal neurologic examination, and 11 (65%) had a history of a prior neurologic event. In contrast, among the 13 children with normal MRIs, 12 (92%) had normal neurologic examinations, and no child had a previous history of a neurologic event. Multiple, bilateral, heterogeneous cerebral infarctions frequently occur without overt neurologic signs or symptoms in children with sickle cell hemoglobinopathy. Previous studies that relied on a focal neurologic examination or a history of a neurologic event to identify cerebral infarctions in patients with sickle cell hemoglobinopathy most likely underrepresented the true frequency of cerebral infarctions in this population. Future prospective studies of cerebral infarctions in children with sickle cell hemoglobinopathy should include MRIs for identification and classification, rather than neurologic examination or clinical history alone.

MeSH Terms (16)

Adolescent Adult Anemia, Sickle Cell Brain Damage, Chronic Cerebral Infarction Child Cohort Studies Disability Evaluation Dominance, Cerebral Female Hemoglobin SC Disease Humans Magnetic Resonance Imaging Male Neurologic Examination Reference Values

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