Venous stroke and status epilepticus due to milk-induced anemia in a child

Finkel, L.; Piantino, J.; Goldstein, J.; Wainwright, M. S.

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2014 Dec 17; 31(2):129-31


The risk factors for cerebral sinus venous thrombosis include dehydration, infection, and anemia. The clinical presentation in children of venous strokes associated with cerebral venous thrombosis is variable and may include seizures. Acute management should focus on the treatment of the primary cause and anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy if needed. Early recognition and targeted treatment is important because survivors are at increased risk for long-term neurologic complications. We report a case of a 4-year-old girl who presented with status epilepticus and was subsequently found to have a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in the transverse and sigmoid sinus, with venous infarction in the temporal lobe. Laboratory results were significant for a microcytic anemia caused by excessive milk intake. Although iron deficiency anemia is a common pediatric disorder, this uncommon presentation demonstrates the potential for neurologic complications secondary to anemia, as well as the need for a high index of suspicion in order to identify venous stroke as a cause in children who present to the emergency department with seizures.

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