Challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric stroke.

Jordan LC, Hillis AE
Nat Rev Neurol. 2011 7 (4): 199-208

PMID: 21386815 · PMCID: PMC3383861 · DOI:10.1038/nrneurol.2011.23

Stroke in children is rarely due to traditional stroke risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes. Rather, stroke in this patient group typically results from the simultaneous occurrence of multiple stroke risk factors, the presence of which necessitates a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of this disorder. Several challenges exist in the care of children with stroke. Of note, recognition of pediatric stroke onset by parents and caregivers is often delayed, highlighting the need for increased awareness of and education regarding this condition. Moreover, various neurological conditions resemble stroke in pediatric patients and a definite diagnosis of this disorder requires MRI; adding to the diagnostic challenge, young children may need to be sedated to undergo acute MRI. Perhaps the most significant challenge is the need for clinical research studies focusing on pediatric stroke treatment, so as to allow evidence-based treatment decision-making. A final challenge is the standardization of outcome assessment after stroke for a wide range of ages and developmental levels. In this Review, we examine recent findings and diagnostic issues pertaining to both arterial ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke in children.

MeSH Terms (7)

Diagnosis, Differential Diagnostic Imaging Electroencephalography Humans Pediatrics Risk Factors Stroke

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