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Keywords:

  • pediatric;
  • head trauma;
  • cerebrovascular accident;
  • hemiparesis;
  • infarction;
  • magnetic resonance imaging

ABSTRACT

A child who presented with hemiparesis secondary to a delayed nonhemorrhagic pontine infarction following mild head trauma is described. The results of the child's workup, including computed tomography (CT), were negative. The diagnosis of nonhemorrhagic pontine infarct was made by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The diagnostic evaluation excluded other possible etiologies of cerebral infarction, including vasculitides, CNS infection, congenital heart disease, hypercoagulable states, and demyelinating diseases. Although trauma cannot be proven as the cause of the infarct, other known causes of infarct were excluded. There are few cases of traumatic nonhemorrhagic cerebral infarction among children in the literature; none describes diagnostic MRI findings. MRI is important in these cases, because it may reveal delayed infarction from small–vessel injury, which is not apparent on CT. This article discusses the etiology of and the diagnostic evaluation of pediatric cerebrovascular accidents and suggests the need for emergency physicians to consider trauma as a potential cause of delayed nonhemorrhagic cerebral infarct in children.