Stroke is a leading cause of physical disability worldwide. Sickle cell anaemia (SCA) is the most common cause of stroke in children. The aim is to determine the prevalence of stroke in children with SCA at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Retrospective studies of patients with SCA (6 months to 16years) with stroke, over a 5 year period were carried out. Data was extracted from the medical records of patients. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze data. A total of 256 medical records of children with SCA were reviewed. Of these, 11 patients had stroke (4.3%). Seven (63.6%) were below 10 years. The main clinical manifestations were seizure, 6 patients (54.5%) and hemiplegia 5 patients (45.5%). Recurrent stroke occurred in 2 patients (18.2%). Computed tomography scan reports of the brain were not available in 3 patients which confirmed ischaemic stroke. Stable-state haematocrit was below 20% in 72.7% of patients. One death was documented. The prevalence of stroke in children with SCA is 4.3% and children under the age of 10 years with low haematocrit values are at greater risk of developing stroke.
Key words: Stroke, sickle cell anaemia, children, Nigeria.
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