Experience of mechanical thrombectomy for paediatric arterial ischaemic stroke

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2014 Nov;18(6):730-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2014.07.006. Epub 2014 Jul 29.


Background: Paediatric arterial ischaemic stroke (AIS) is an important cause of acute neurological symptoms in children, it causes significant morbidity and is one of the top ten causes of childhood deaths. Consensus papers have suggested guidelines for the management of AIS in childhood, although none recommend thrombectomy. Despite this, children within our institution have undergone mechanical thrombectomy for large vessel occlusion. This is the first series of mechanical thrombectomy and outcomes performed in children in the U.K.

Methods: We describe the endovascular management of paediatric arterial ischaemic stroke (AIS) in four children (5-15 years) with PedNIHSS > 17.

Results: Three had basilar artery (BA) occlusion and one left middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion. All underwent uncomplicated thrombectomy followed by intravenous heparin. One had a successful second attempt. The BA cases underwent thrombectomy 17-36 h after symptom onset; the left MCA case <6 h after symptom onset. Modified Rankin Scale (MRS) was 0-3, 50% had MRS 0.

Discussion: Adult AIS guidelines recommend IV recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (r-tPA) within 4.5 h of onset and intra-arterial r-tPA within 6 h; thrombectomy being reserved for carefully selected patients. Paediatric AIS recognition is problematic, often with delayed imaging. There is little evidence regarding efficacy of thrombectomy for paediatric AIS. Our experience suggests there may be a role for endovascular clot retrieval in selected patients managed by an experienced multidisciplinary team. Careful data collection is mandatory.

Keywords: Arterial ischaemic stroke; Basilar artery stroke; Childhood stroke; Paediatric stroke; Stroke management; Thrombectomy; Thrombolysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Male
  • Pediatrics
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator