Craniocervical Arterial Dissection in Children: Clinical and Radiographic Presentation and Outcome
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Craniocervical arterial dissection is a recognized cause of arterial ischemic stroke in children. Whether children with craniocervical arterial dissection have dissection characteristics different from those of adults is unclear. A retrospective review of children, 1 month to 18 years of age, with dissection from two Canadian pediatric ischemic stroke registry centers was conducted. From 213 patients with arterial ischemic stroke, 16 (7.5%) were identified with dissection, 37.5% had warning symptoms, and 50% had a history of head or neck trauma. The clinical presentation included headache (44%), altered consciousness (25%), seizures (12.5%), and focal deficits (87.5%). Dissection involved extracranial vessels in 75% and anterior circulation in 56%. Follow-up included complete recovery in 43%, mild to moderate deficits in 44%, and severe deficits in 13%. Fourteen (87.5%) children received antithrombotic treatment. Follow-up angiography showed resolution of abnormalities in 60% of vessels. Total occlusion had the worst outcome for recanalization. In conclusion, the etiology of arterial dissection in the majority of children appears to be either trauma or idiopathic. Long-term angiography shows variable outcomes, depending on the initial findings. The relationship of angiographic outcomes with recurrent strokes requires further study in pediatric dissection. (J Child Neurol 2006;21:8-16).
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