Cancer and Tumor-Associated Childhood Stroke: Results From the International Pediatric Stroke Study

International Pediatric Stroke Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence of cancer among children with stroke is unknown. This study sought to evaluate cancer- and tumor-associated childhood ischemic stroke in a multinational pediatric stroke registry. Methods: Children aged 29 days to less than 19 years with arterial ischemic stroke or cerebral sinovenous thrombosis enrolled in the International Pediatric Stroke Study between January 2003 and June 2019 were included. Data including stroke treatment and recurrence were compared between subjects with and without cancer using Wilcoxon rank sum and chi-square tests. Results: Cancer or tumor was present in 99 of 2968 children (3.3%) with arterial ischemic stroke and 64 of 596 children (10.7%) with cerebral sinovenous thrombosis. Among children in whom cancer type was identified, 42 of 88 arterial ischemic stroke cases (48%) had brain tumors and 35 (40%) had hematologic malignancies; 45 of 58 cerebral sinovenous thrombosis cases (78%) had hematologic malignancies and eight (14%) had brain tumors. Of 54 cancer-associated arterial ischemic stroke cases with a known cause, 34 (63%) were due to arteriopathy and nine (17%) were due to cardioembolism. Of 46 cancer-associated cerebral sinovenous thrombosis cases with a known cause, 41 (89%) were related to chemotherapy-induced or other prothrombotic states. Children with cancer were less likely than children without cancer to receive antithrombotic therapy for arterial ischemic stroke (58% vs 80%, P = 0.007) and anticoagulation for cerebral sinovenous thrombosis (71% vs 87%, P = 0.046). Recurrent arterial ischemic stroke (5% vs 2%, P = 0.04) and cerebral sinovenous thrombosis (5% vs 1%, P = 0.006) were more common among children with cancer. Conclusions: Cancer is an important risk factor for incident and recurrent childhood stroke. Stroke prevention strategies for children with cancer are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Arterial ischemic stroke
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral sinovenous thrombosis
  • Chemotherapy
  • Childhood stroke
  • Malignancy
  • Pediatric stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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