Acute Stroke Treatment in Children: Are Adult Guidelines Applicable?


Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute, St. Luke's Hospital, Milwaukee


Purpose of this review: This article provides an overview into acute treatments in stroke which are widely studied and available for adults and their applicability in the pediatric population.

Recent findings: Arterial ischemic stroke is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. Neurological deficits and etiologies are age-dependent and more challenging to diagnose than in the adult population. Advancements in imaging and treatment modalities including increased treatment windows in acute stroke have led to improvement in the diagnosis and management of pediatric arterial ischemic disease. Accordingly, hyperacute treatments, such as endovascular therapy, are becoming increasingly available in an attempt to improve outcomes in children.

Summary: Significant scientific and technological advances have transformed the hyperacute treatment of stroke in the recent years, allowing for improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of cerebrovascular pathologies in children. Optimization in the approach, and validation of existing stroke pathways/protocols is expected to further advance acute stroke therapy in pediatric patient care. Given that the lifelong individual, family, and societal burden of acute stroke is likely to be greater than in adults because infants and children surviving stroke live more years with disability, we must be knowledgeable about this pathology and the medical and therapeutic options available for this unique population as detailed in this review.

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