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Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Acute ischemic stroke in children – Should we thrombolyze?


1 Department of Pediatric Neurology, Division of Stroke Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Cochin, Kerala, India
2 Department of Neurology, Division of Stroke Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Cochin, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
KP Vinayan,
Department of Pediatric Neurology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi - 682 041, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.aian_527_21

Ischemic stroke is a major cause of acute neurological symptoms in children with significant long-term neurological sequelae. Unlike in the adult population, the clinical presentation of strokes in children may not be stereotyped. Hence, many other differential diagnostic possibilities might have to be considered in the emergency setting. Due to this heterogeneous presentation and the resultant clinical dilemma in the early detection, acute thrombolysis even now remains as a very rarely tried therapeutic option in children. Many case reports over these years have shown consistently good results of acute intravenous thrombolysis in children with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) administered within the time frame. There are also some recent reports of endovascular interventions. However, unlike in the adult population, class 1 clinical studies and good Randomized controlled trials (RCT) are yet to emerge in children. The absence of age-appropriate safety and outcome data for the commonly used thrombolytic agents in children is another major roadblock for developing clinical guidelines and recommendations for this age group. The ambitious Thrombolysis in Pediatric Stroke (TIPS) trial had to be terminated prematurely due to poor patient enrolment. This review critically looks at the current status of the acute management of ischemic strokes in children with a specific emphasis on thrombolytic therapy. Until we have better evidence-based guidelines for this age group, it will be prudent to develop robust institutional pathways to provide this important intervention for all eligible children with acute strokes.


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