Arterial ischemic stroke in children with cardiac disease

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe the spectrum of cardiac disorders, timing in relation to interventional procedures, and outcome in children with cardiac disease and arterial ischemic stroke (AIS).

Methods:

Children younger than 18 years with cardiac disease and radiologically confirmed AIS admitted to the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne between 1993 and 2010 were retrospectively identified using ICD-9 and ICD-10 searches.

Results:

Seventy-six children with cardiac disease and radiologically confirmed AIS were identified with the median age at diagnosis of 5 months (interquartile range 0–58). Cardiac lesions included cyanotic congenital heart disease (CHD) in 42 (55%), acyanotic heart disease in 24 (29%), cardiomyopathies/myocarditis in 6 (8%), infective endocarditis in 3 (4%), and primary arrhythmias in 3 (4%). Stroke occurred following cardiac procedures in 52 patients (68%): 41 post cardiac surgery (4.6 strokes per 1,000 surgical procedures) and 11 post cardiac catheterization (1.7 strokes per 1,000 catheterizations). The median time from procedure to diagnosis of stroke was 3 days (interquartile range 2–7), with 68% (95% confidence interval 58%–79%) of strokes estimated to occur within the periprocedural period. Prevalence of periprocedural stroke varied by diagnostic category, but was most common in patients with cyanotic CHD undergoing palliative surgery (22/2,256, 1%) (p < 0.005). There were 3 AIS-related deaths, and 54 survivors (84%) had persisting neurologic deficits.

Conclusions:

Infants with cyanotic CHD were most frequently affected by AIS during the periprocedural period. Prospective cohort studies are required to determine effective primary and secondary prevention strategies.

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