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Rates and Risk Factors for Arterial Ischemic Stroke Recurrence in Children [Clinical Sciences]

Background and Purpose—Recurrent ischemic events are common in children with arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) and put patients at risk for further neurological impairment. This study sought to identify rates and risk factors for recurrent AIS or transient ischemic attack in a cohort of children seen after index AIS and uniformly investigated and managed using contemporary clinical guidelines.Methods—Case note and radiology review of children >28 days and <18 years of age who presented to Great Ormond Street Hospital from 2005 to 2015 with index AIS. Demographic characteristics, medical history, index AIS features, radiological findings, and neurological outcome were examined. Recurrence was identified from clinical records and coded as AIS (if there was associated new cerebral infarction) or transient ischemic attack.Results—Eighty-four children (43 girls; median age at index AIS, 4.1 years) were identified. Cumulative AIS recurrence was 5% at 1 month, 10% at 3 months, 12% at 6 months, 12% at 12 months, and 15% at 60 months after index event. Factors that independently predicted AIS recurrence were referral to Great Ormond Street Hospital from outside the catchment area, a prior relevant diagnosis, bilateral arteriopathy, and AIS CASCADE category 3A or 3B (Childhood AIS Standardized Classification and Diagnostic Evaluation). Multiple infarcts and evidence of mature, as well as acute, infarcts on first brain imaging, although independently associated with AIS recurrence, were also associated with bilateral arteriopathy. Only CASCADE categories 3A and 3B (bilateral cerebral arteriopathy with or without collaterals) remained significant in multivariate analysis. AIS recurrence was not associated with poor neurological outcome.Conclusions—AIS recurrence remains a significant problem, despite the wide use of antithrombotic medications. AIS subtypes should direct clinicians and future trials to use stratified management strategies and durations of treatment. Bilateral cerebral arteriopathies are especially sinister, and consensus criteria should be developed to improve consistency of management.

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