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Paediatric stroke in the northern Spanish region of Aragon: incidence, clinical characteristics, and outcomes

Neurologia (Engl Ed). 2022 Jun 9:S2173-5808(22)00067-0. doi: 10.1016/j.nrleng.2021.10.004. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Recent years have seen considerable changes in the prevention and treatment of acute ischaemic stroke in adult patients. However, the low incidence of paediatric stroke makes the development of specific guidelines more challenging. This study aims to clarify the situation of these children in our region in order to establish a regional protocol to improve the care provided to these patients.

METHODS: We performed a regional incidence study of pediatric stroke (≤ 15 years of age) in Aragon, Spain (1308728 population, 15% aged ≤ 15 years) between 2008 and 2019. Data were obtained from hospital discharge records, including deaths, from the regional health service of Aragón, according to ICD codes for cerebrovascular disease. We analysed demographic, clinical, diagnostic/therapeutic, and prognostic variables.

RESULTS: A total of 21 events were recorded: 8 ischaemic (38.1%) and 13 haemorrhagic strokes (61.9%). The mean age (SD) was 9.3 years (1.0). The sample included 12 boys and nine girls. No statistically significant differences were found between ischaemic and haemorrhagic strokes, except in the chief complaint (language and motor impairment in ischaemic stroke and headache in haemorrhagic stroke). None of the patients with ischaemic stroke received reperfusion therapies. Including the 3 patients who died during hospitalisation, eight patients (42.1%) had modified Rankin Scale scores > 2 at 12 months. Motor deficits were the most common sequela (n=9).

CONCLUSION: Though infrequent, paediatric stroke has an important functional impact. In Spain, Madrid was the first region to adapt the existing code stroke care networks for adult patients. In Aragon, this review has enabled us to work closely with the different stakeholders to offer a care plan for acute paediatric ischaemic stroke. Nevertheless, prospective national registries would be valuable to continue improving the care provided to these patients.

PMID:35691906 | DOI:10.1016/j.nrleng.2021.10.004

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