Perinatal stroke is a focal vascular brain injury that occurs from the fetal period to 28 days of postnatal age. With an overall incidence of up to 1 in 1,000 live births, the most focused lifetime risk for stroke occurs near birth. Perinatal stroke can be classified by the timing of diagnosis, vessel involvement, and type of injury. Timing of diagnosis may be in the acute neonatal period or retrospectively after a period of normal development, followed by abnormal neurologic findings, with the injury presumed to have occurred around the time of birth. Strokes may be arterial or venous, ischemic, and/or hemorrhagic. Within these classifications, 6 perinatal stroke diseases are recognizable, based on clinical and radiographic features. Morbidity is high in perinatal stroke, because it accounts for most cases of hemiparetic cerebral palsy, with disability lasting a lifetime. Additional complications include disorders of sensation and vision, language delays, cognitive and learning deficits, epilepsy, and mental health consequences that affect the entire family. Advances in neonatal neurocritical care may afford opportunity to minimize brain injury and improve outcomes. In the chronic timeframe, progress made in neuroimaging and brain mapping is revealing the developmental plasticity that occurs, informing new avenues for neurorehabilitation. This review will summarize the diagnosis and management of each perinatal stroke disease, highlighting their similarities and distinctions and emphasizing a patient- and family-centered approach to management.

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