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Semin Pediatr Neurol ; 44: 100995, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031693


Infections play an important role in the pathogenesis of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in neonates and children. In neonates, chorioamnionitis or intrauterine inflammation has been implicated as a common risk factor for AIS. In infants and children, recent investigations demonstrated that even minor childhood infections are associated with subsequent increased risk for AIS. Post-infectious inflammatory mechanisms following infections with herpesviruses may lead to focal cerebral arteriopathy (FCA), one of the most common causes of AIS in a previously healthy child. Other agents such as parvovirus B19, dengue virus, and SARS-CoV-2 have recently been implicated as other potential triggers. Infections are compelling treatable stroke risk factors, with available therapies for both pathogens and downstream inflammatory effects. However, infections are common in childhood, while stroke is uncommon. The ongoing VIPS II (Vascular effects of Infection in Pediatric Stroke) study aims to identify the array of pathogens that may lead to childhood AIS and whether either unusual strains or unusual combinations of pathogens explain this paradox. Immune modulation with corticosteroids for FCA is another active area of research, with European and U.S. trials launching soon. The results of these new pediatric stroke studies combined with findings emerging from the larger field of immune-mediated post-infectious diseases will likely lead to new approaches to the prevention and treatment of pediatric stroke. This review highlights recent developments from both clinical and animal model research enhancing our understanding of this relationship between infection, inflammation, and stroke in neonates and children.

COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke , Stroke , Humans , Animals , Female , Pregnancy , COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/complications , Inflammation/complications
N Engl J Med ; 387(2): 148-159, 2022 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931553


BACKGROUND: Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is an important cause of death as well as long-term disability in survivors. Erythropoietin has been hypothesized to have neuroprotective effects in infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, but its effects on neurodevelopmental outcomes when given in conjunction with therapeutic hypothermia are unknown. METHODS: In a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, we assigned 501 infants born at 36 weeks or more of gestation with moderate or severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy to receive erythropoietin or placebo, in conjunction with standard therapeutic hypothermia. Erythropoietin (1000 U per kilogram of body weight) or saline placebo was administered intravenously within 26 hours after birth, as well as at 2, 3, 4, and 7 days of age. The primary outcome was death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 22 to 36 months of age. Neurodevelopmental impairment was defined as cerebral palsy, a Gross Motor Function Classification System level of at least 1 (on a scale of 0 [normal] to 5 [most impaired]), or a cognitive score of less than 90 (which corresponds to 0.67 SD below the mean, with higher scores indicating better performance) on the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, third edition. RESULTS: Of 500 infants in the modified intention-to-treat analysis, 257 received erythropoietin and 243 received placebo. The incidence of death or neurodevelopmental impairment was 52.5% in the erythropoietin group and 49.5% in the placebo group (relative risk, 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.86 to 1.24; P = 0.74). The mean number of serious adverse events per child was higher in the erythropoietin group than in the placebo group (0.86 vs. 0.67; relative risk, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.57). CONCLUSIONS: The administration of erythropoietin to newborns undergoing therapeutic hypothermia for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy did not result in a lower risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment than placebo and was associated with a higher rate of serious adverse events. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; number, NCT02811263.).

Erythropoietin , Hypothermia, Induced , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain , Neuroprotective Agents , Administration, Intravenous , Cerebral Palsy/etiology , Double-Blind Method , Erythropoietin/administration & dosage , Erythropoietin/adverse effects , Erythropoietin/therapeutic use , Humans , Hypothermia, Induced/methods , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/complications , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/drug therapy , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/therapy , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Neuroprotective Agents/administration & dosage , Neuroprotective Agents/adverse effects , Neuroprotective Agents/therapeutic use