Objective: To determine whether children with homozygous sickle cell anemia (SCD) who have silent infarcts on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain are at increased risk for overt stroke. Methods: We selected patients with homozygous SCD who (1) enrolled in the Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease (CSSCD) before age 6 months, (2) had at least 1 study-mandated brain MRI at age 6 years or older, and (3) had no overt stroke before a first MRI. MRI results and clinical and laboratory parameters were tested as predictors of stroke. Results: Among 248 eligible patients, mean age at first MRI was 8.3 ± 1.9 years, and mean follow-up after baseline MRI was 5.2 ± 2.2 years. Five (8.1%) of 62 patients with silent infarct had strokes compared with 1 (0.5%) of 186 patients without prior silent infarct; incidence per 100 patient-years of follow-up was increased 14-fold (1.45 per 100 patient-years vs 0.11 per 100 patient-years, P = .006). Of several clinical and laboratory parameters examined, silent infarct was the strongest independent predictor of stroke (hazard ratio = 7.2, P = .027). Conclusions: Silent infarct identified at age 6 years or older is associated with increased stroke risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health