Stroke in Sickle Cell Anemia: Alternative Etiologies

Michael M. Dowling, Charles T. Quinn, Zora R. Rogers, Janna M. Journeycake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Stroke is common in children with sickle cell anemia, but is rarely attributed to the traditional causes of stroke identified in other children. An 11-year-old girl with sickle cell anemia presented with severe headache and was found to have recurrent bilateral multifocal strokes in a cardioembolic pattern. Evaluation revealed the presence of a patent foramen ovale, antiphospholipid antibodies, and elevations in factor VIII and lipoprotein(a). Sickle cell anemia is itself a hypercoagulable state with potential for increased right heart pressures, both of which predispose to paradoxical embolization via right-to-left intracardiac shunting of emboli, thus causing stroke. The present case suggests that the more traditional etiologies for pediatric stroke may also cause stroke in children with sickle cell anemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-126
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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