Background and purposePHACE is an acronym for posterior fossa brain malformations, hemangiomas, arterial anomalies, coarctation of the aorta and cardiac defects, and eye abnormalities. Several case reports of arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) in individuals with PHACE have been published, but risk factors for AIS in PHACE have not been clearly defined. The objective of this article is to review all cases of stroke in PHACE in children and describe clinical characteristics that may be associated with an increased risk of AIS.
MethodsA literature and registry search was conducted to identify patients with PHACE who had experienced AIS. Data were analyzed to determine age of onset, presenting signs and symptoms, and clinical features among this cohort compared with PHACE without AIS.
ResultsTwenty-two individuals with PHACE and AIS were identified. Imaging of the arteries of the head and neck was reported in 20 of 22. Narrowing or nonvisualization of at least 1 great cerebral vessel was present in 19 of 20 and of those, 15 had ≥ 2 vessels involved. Aortic arch anomalies were reported in 13 of 22 individuals.
ConclusionsAplasia, hypoplasia, or occlusion of a major cerebral artery appears to be a significant risk factor for AIS in children with PHACE, especially when >1 vessel is involved or if there is coarctation of the aorta.