To describe factors affecting eligibility for, and rates of utilization of, hyperacute therapy in children with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) following establishment of our institutional acute stroke treatment pathway in 2005.
A retrospective analysis of a prospectively enrolled, single-center cohort was performed including children age 2 – <18 years with acute AIS from 2005 through 2017. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize clinical characteristics, presentation data, and Pediatric NIH Stroke Scale (PedNIHSS) scores that were abstracted from medical records. Assessment for eligibility and administration of hyperacute therapy was determined at the time of presentation according to the institutional stroke pathway.
Of 90 children (median age at presentation 11.3 years, 36% female) with acute AIS, 5 (6%) received hyperacute therapy: 3 received intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV-tPA) alone, 1 received endovascular therapy (EVT) alone, and 1 received IV-tPA and EVT. Of 54 children (60%) who presented within 4.5 h of time last seen well, 6 had PedNIHSS scores 6-24, no medical contraindication to IV-tPA, and a partial or complete vessel occlusion. Of 7 children >3 years old who presented after EVT became available at our hospital and within 6 h of time last seen well with a PedNIHSS score 6-24, 3 (43%) had a large vessel occlusion (LVO). Two patients underwent EVT and the other patient was not transferred until >6 h from time last seen well.
Delay to presentation and diagnosis of childhood acute AIS, mild neurologic deficits at presentation, medical contraindications to IV-tPA, and lack of vessel occlusion on acute neuroimaging contribute to low rates of hyperacute treatment in children with acute AIS.

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