Pediatric stroke is a debilitating disease. There are several risk factors predisposing children to this life-threatening disease. Although, published literature estimates a relatively high incidence of pediatric stroke, treatment guidelines on intravenous tissue plasminogen activator and endovascular thrombectomy utilization remain a dilemma. There is a lack of large population-based studies and clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and safety outcomes associated with these treatments in this unique population.
We sought to determine the prevalence of risk factors, concurrent utilization of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator and endovascular thrombectomy, and associated outcomes in pediatric stroke hospitalizations.
We performed a retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample data (2003–2014) in pediatric (1–21 years of age) acute ischemic stroke hospitalizations using ICD-9-CM codes. The multivariable survey logistic regression model was weighted to account for sampling strategy, evaluate predictors of hemorrhagic conversion, and treatment outcomes (mortality, morbidity, and discharge disposition) amongst pediatric stroke hospitalizations.
In this analysis, 9109 patients between 1 and 21 years of age were admitted during 2003–2014 for acute ischemic stroke. Of these 9109 patients, 119 (1.30%) received endovascular thrombectomy alone, 256 (2.82%) intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, and 69 (0.75%) both endovascular thrombectomy and intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator. We found overall high prevalence of conditions like epilepsy (19.59%), atrial septal defect (11.76%), sickle cell disease (8.63%), and moyamoya disease (5.41%) in pediatric acute ischemic stroke patients. Unadjusted analysis showed high prevalence of all-cause in-hospital mortality in combined endovascular thrombectomy and intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator utilization group, and higher prevalence of hemorrhagic conversion and morbidity in endovascular thrombectomy utilization group compared to other groups (p < 0.0001). Multivariate adjusted analysis showed that children with endovascular thrombectomy utilization (aOR: 19.19; 95% CI: 2.50–147.29, p = 0.005), intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator utilization (aOR: 8.85; 95% CI: 1.92–40.76, p = 0.005), and both (endovascular thrombectomy and intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator) utilization (aOR: 7.55; 95% CI: 1.16–49.31, p = 0.035) had higher odds of hemorrhagic conversion compared to no-treatment group.
We found various risk factors associated with pediatric stroke. The early identification can be useful to formulate preventive strategies and influence the incidence of pediatric stroke. Our study results showed that use of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator and endovascular thrombectomy increase risk of mortality and hemorrhagic conversion, but we suggest to have more clinical studies to evaluate the idea candidates for utilization of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator and endovascular thrombectomy based on risk: benefit ratio.