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Predicting Recovery and Outcome after Pediatric Stroke: Results from the International Pediatric Stroke Study.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize predictors of recovery and outcome following pediatric arterial ischemic stroke, hypothesizing that age influences recovery after stroke.

METHODS: We studied children enrolled in the International Pediatric Stroke Study between January 1, 2003 and July 31, 2014 with 2-year follow-up after arterial ischemic stroke. Outcomes were defined at discharge by clinician grading and at 2 years by the Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure. Demographic, clinical, and radiologic outcome predictors were examined. We defined changes in outcome from discharge to 2 years as recovery (improved outcome), emerging deficit (worse outcome), or no change.

RESULTS: Our population consisted of 587 patients, including 174 with neonatal stroke and 413 with childhood stroke, with recurrent stroke in 8.2% of childhood patients. Moderate to severe neurological impairment was present in 9.4% of neonates versus 48.8% of children at discharge compared to 8.0% versus 24.7% after 2 years. Predictors of poor outcome included age between 28 days and 1 year (compared to neonates, odds ratio [OR] = 3.58, p < 0.05), underlying chronic disorder (OR = 2.23, p < 0.05), and involvement of both small and large vascular territories (OR = 2.84, p < 0.05). Recovery patterns differed, with emerging deficits more common in children <1 year of age (p < 0.05).

INTERPRETATION: Outcomes after pediatric stroke are generally favorable, but moderate to severe neurological impairments are still common. Age between 28 days and 1 year appears to be a particularly vulnerable period. Understanding the timing and predictors of recovery will allow us to better counsel families and target therapies to improve outcomes after pediatric stroke. ANN NEUROL 2020;87:840-852.

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