Fenella Kirkham 1, Guillaume Sébire 2, Maja Steinlin 3, Ronald Sträter4*
1Neurosciences Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, and University of Southampton, United Kingdom 2Service de Neurologie Pédiatrique, Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium 3Divisio
Conditions associated with arterial ischaemic stroke in children include a great variety of diseases and triggers such as congenital heart malformations, sickle cell disease, infections and vasculopathies, although up to 50% are cryptogenic. An abnormal vascular status can be demonstrated by vascular imaging in up to 80% of children with ischaemic stroke, and case control studies demonstrate an association between ischaemic stroke in children and hereditary prothrombotic risk factors and infections such as Varicella. Conventional risk factors such as hyper tension and dyslipidaemia may also play a role, and most children have several potential triggers rather than one single cause. This review focuses on clinical presentations, imaging methods, stroke subtypes, underlying conditions including prothrombotic risk factors, outcome and recurrence. Although data from randomised controlled trials, on which clinical practice might be based, are sparse, therapeutic approaches and future research directions are discussed.