Cerebrovascular disease is among the top 10 causes of death in US children, but risk factors for mortality are poorly understood. Within an international registry, we identify predictors of in-hospital mortality after pediatric arterial ischemic stroke (AIS).
Neonates (0–28 days) and children (29 days–<19 years) with AIS were enrolled from January 2003 to July 2014 in a multinational stroke registry. Death during hospitalization and cause of death were ascertained from medical records. Logistic regression was used to analyze associations between risk factors and in-hospital mortality.
Fourteen of 915 neonates (1.5%) and 70 of 2273 children (3.1%) died during hospitalization. Of 48 cases with reported causes of death, 31 (64.6%) were stroke-related, with remaining deaths attributed to medical disease. In multivariable analysis, congenital heart disease (odds ratio [OR]: 3.88; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.23–12.29; P = .021), posterior plus anterior circulation stroke (OR: 5.36; 95% CI: 1.70–16.85; P = .004), and stroke presentation without seizures (OR: 3.95; 95% CI: 1.26–12.37; P = .019) were associated with in-hospital mortality for neonates. Hispanic ethnicity (OR: 3.12; 95% CI: 1.56–6.24; P = .001), congenital heart disease (OR: 3.14; 95% CI: 1.75–5.61; P < .001), and posterior plus anterior circulation stroke (OR: 2.71; 95% CI: 1.40–5.25; P = .003) were associated with in-hospital mortality for children.
In-hospital mortality occurred in 2.6% of pediatric AIS cases. Most deaths were attributable to stroke. Risk factors for in-hospital mortality included congenital heart disease and posterior plus anterior circulation stroke. Presentation without seizures and Hispanic ethnicity were also associated with mortality for neonates and children, respectively. Awareness and study of risk factors for mortality represent opportunities to increase survival.