Introduction: Post-stroke epilepsy is common in children, but the relationship of childhood epilepsy with stroke outcome is poorly understood.
Hypothesis: Children with epilepsy after arterial ischemic stroke have worse outcomes than those without epilepsy.
Methods: We prospectively enrolled children (birth-18 years) with arterial ischemic stroke and identified remote seizures (occurring ≥ 7 days post-stroke). At one-year, patients with active epilepsy (≥ 1 remote seizure + maintenance anti-convulsant) were identified and Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure (PSOM) was scored. Total PSOM scores range from 0-10; higher values reflect more severe neurologic deficits. Ordinal logistic regression was used to evaluate the relationship between clinical factors and PSOM scores. PSOM scores were categorized 0-1, 1.5-3, 3.5-6, 6.5-10 to depict stratified distribution.
Results: Among 94 children (54% male; 20% Hispanic; 25% neonatal strokes; median age for childhood strokes 6.1 years, IQR 1.3-12), 12 had ≥ 1 remote seizure during the first year post-stroke. At one-year follow-up, 19 children were taking a maintenance anti-convulsant and 10 children had active epilepsy. Median PSOM score at one-year for the overall cohort was 0.5 (IQR 0-1.5). Median PSOM score among children with active epilepsy was 3.3 (IQR 0.5-6). Figure demonstrates distribution of categorized PSOM scores stratified by the presence of active epilepsy. On univariable regression analyses, older age (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.0-1.1, P=0.02), maintenance anti-convulsant at one-year (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.0-7.0, P=0.04) and active epilepsy (OR 6.3, 95% CI 1.7-25, P=0.007) were associated with higher total PSOM scores. After multivariable adjustment for age and maintenance anti-convulsant, active epilepsy remained associated with higher total PSOM score (OR 7.8, 95% CI 1.3-46, P=0.02).
Conclusions: Active epilepsy one-year after pediatric arterial ischemic stroke is associated with poorer neurologic outcome.