Introduction: Acute symptomatic seizures are common after pediatric arterial ischemic stroke (AIS). We sought to analyze practice variation in anticonvulsant medication treatment (ACM) after AIS. We hypothesized that ACM practice varies but is related to age, acute seizure frequency and duration, cortical involvement, and hemorrhagic conversion.
Methods: Seizures in Pediatric Stroke (SIPS), an international, prospective study, enrolled neonatal (<28 days) and childhood (<19 years) acute AIS patients 3/2011-8/2012. Seizures and ACM were recorded. Among patients with acute seizures (<7 days post-stroke), we used univariate Spearman’s correlations to determine association between ACM and clinical predictors at both discharge and 12-month time points. Variables with p <0.05 at univariate analysis were entered into a logistic regression model.
Results: Among 116 patients, 27 neonates and 31 children (ages 0.2-17 years) had an acute seizure. In neonates, 24 (89%) had ACM continued after discharge, but only 4 (15%) remained on ACM at 12 m (3 having had post-discharge seizure). Phenobarbital was the most common ACM in neonates at discharge (n=14) and 12m (n=2, levetiracetam = 2). In children, 23 (74%) had ACM at discharge, and 17 (57%) remained on ACM at 12m (7 having had a post-discharge seizure). All patients in study with post-discharge seizure were discharged on ACM. Two neonates and 1 child with post-discharge seizure were not on ACM at 12m. Levetiracetam was the most common ACM in children at discharge (n=11) and 12m (n=9). No single variable correlated with discharge ACM (Table). ACM at 12 m correlated with neonatal stroke, >10 seizures in acute period, and post-discharge seizure. In logistic regression, all variables remained significant.
Conclusion: ACM management after acute post-stroke seizures varies widely in pediatric stroke. Neonates rarely, but children frequently, are continued on ACM up to 1 year, even without further seizures.