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Original Investigation |

Association of Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, and Temperature With Neurological Outcome After Childhood Stroke

Kimberly N. Grelli, MD1,2; Melissa C. Gindville, MS2; C. Haley Walker, BA2; Lori C. Jordan, MD, PhD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle
2Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(7):829-835. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.0992.
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Importance  To our knowledge, no evidence-based guidelines are available for the best medical management of blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and temperature in pediatric patients after arterial ischemic stroke.

Objective  To determine the prevalence of abnormal blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and temperature in pediatric patients with acute arterial ischemic stroke and to explore any association between these measures and neurological outcome.

Design, Setting, and Participants  We performed a retrospective review of children aged 29 days to 18 years with their first arterial ischemic stroke between January 2009 and December 2013 at a tertiary academic children’s hospital. Ninety-eight children with stroke were identified by an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, code search and medical record review. Blood pressure, blood glucose, and temperature data were collected for 5 days after the stroke. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure at or above the 95th percentile for age, sex, and height for 2 consecutive recordings and 2 consecutive days. Hypotension was defined as systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure below the fifth percentile for age, sex, and height for 2 consecutive recordings. Hyperglycemia was defined as a blood glucose level of 200 mg/dL or greater. Morbidity and mortality at 3 months were documented. Data analyses were performed from July 1, 2014, to December 31, 2015.

Interventions or Exposures  Abnormal blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and fever in the setting of arterial ischemic stroke.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The a priori outcome measure was poor clinical outcome, defined as a Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure score of 1 or greater, which represents a moderate neurological deficit.

Results  The median (interquartile range) age of the 98 children was 6.0 (0.6-14.3) years, and 58 (59.2%) were male. Hypertension was present in 64 (65.3%), hypotension in 67 (68.4%), hyperglycemia in 17 (18.1%), and fever in 37 (37.8%). The strongest association with poor neurological outcome was an infarct size of 4% or greater of brain volume (odds ratio, 5.6; 95% CI, 2.0-15.4; P = .001). Hyperglycemia was also independently associated with poor neurological outcome (odds ratio, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.2-12.4; P = .02). Hypertension and fever were not significantly associated with infarct size, poor outcome, or death. Hypertension was not documented in 24 of 87 surviving children (27.6%) at 3-month follow-up and was not associated with poor neurological outcome.

Conclusions and Relevance  Abnormalities of blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and temperature are prevalent in children with arterial ischemic stroke. Infarct volume and hyperglycemia were associated with poor neurological outcome but hypertension and fever were not. Prospective studies that systematically record blood pressure, blood glucose, and temperature data are required to further assess the associations between these potentially modifiable physiological parameters and pediatric stroke outcome.

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