UMEM Educational Pearls

Traditional management (referred to as "operative management") of a nail avulsion is to replace the nail in the epicanthal fold and suture this in place.  A study was done to see if wound cleaning and placement of a non-adhesive dressing was non inferior to this traditional management.  The primary outcome was the appearance of the new nail at 6 months as determined by 2 separate physicians using a Nail Appearance Score (NAS) and who were blinded to the treatment groups.  The secondary outcomes were patient and parental satisfaction and infection rate.  There were no statistically significant differences in the NAS or patient and parental satisfaction scores between the 2 groups.
Parents were informed of both options and allowed to choose between the treatments.  Patients between 1-16 years with proximal or complete nail bed avulsion injuries were included.
Conclusions: In this small study, non-operative management for fingernail avulsions was not inferior to operative management.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Pan-Scan for OHCA?

Keywords: cardiac arrest, ROSC, computed tomography, CT scan, imaging (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/16/2021 by Kami Windsor, MD
Click here to contact Kami Windsor, MD

 

A recent prospective observational study examined the diagnostic usefulness of head-to-pelvis sudden death computed tomography (SDCT) in 104 patients with ROSC and unclear OHCA etiology.

  • Obtained within 6 hours of hospital arrival
  • Noncontrast head CT + ECG-gated chest CTA with abbreviated coronary imaging + contrasted CT of the abdomen to just below the pelvis. 

 

Diagnostic performance: 

  • Detected 95% of OHCA etiologies diagnosable by CT
  • Detected 98% of time-critical diagnoses requiring emergent intervention (including complications of resuscitation)
  • The sole reason for diagnosis of OHCA etiology in 13%

 

Safety:

  • 28% of patients with elevated creatinine at 48h (down from 55% at presentation; study excluded GFR < 30ml/min unless treating provider felt the data was needed for care)
  • 1% (1 patient) required RRT 
  • No false positives noted, no allergic contrast reactions, 1 contrast IV extravasation

 

Bottom Line: For OHCA without clear etiology, SDCT explicitly including a thoracic CTA may have diagnostic benefit over standard care alone with the added benefit of identification of resuscitation complications. 

 

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Hand elevation test

 

  • Hand elevation has been known to reproduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

  • This phenomenon prompted the idea of developing a simple hand elevation test to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. 

 

  • To perform: Ask the patient to elevate both arms in the air for one minute. Hands are raised actively and without strain, keeping the elbows and shoulders relatively loose.

 

  • A positive test reproduces symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. 

 

  • The hand elevation test has a high sensitivity (75-86%) and specificity (89-98.5%) and may be comparable to or likely better than other provocative tests.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO2qC5qHVFE

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Category: Neurology

Title: Thrombectomy for Basilar Artery Occlusion?

Keywords: stroke, large vessel occlusion, basilar artery, posterior circulation, thrombectomy (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/9/2021 by WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD
Click here to contact WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD

  • The landscape of acute ischemic stroke treatment changed dramatically with endovascular thrombectomy (EVT).
  • However, few patients with basilar artery occlusions were included in major EVT trials.
  • Basilar artery occlusion accounts for 10% of large vessel occlusions and can result in devastating neurological deficits.
  • The recently published BASICS trial evaluated the efficacy of EVT within 6 hours of symptom onset in 300 patients with basilar artery occlusion strokes.
  • 44.2% of the EVT group had a good outcome compared to 37.7% of the medical treatment group (p=0.19).
    • Good outcome was defined as modified Rankin scale of 0 (no symptoms) to 3 (moderate disability but able to walk without assistance) at 90 days.
    • Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage was higher in the EVT group (4.5% vs. 0.7%, p=0.06).
    • History of AFib was more common in the EVT group (28.6% vs. 15.1%).
  • It is important to note that this study did not use advanced neuroimaging for patient selection unlike in landmark EVT trials of anterior circulation large vessel occlusion strokes.

Bottom Line: There is no significant difference between endovascular thrombectomy and medical management for basilar artery occlusion strokes within 6 hours of symptom onset. 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Oral Midodrine Use in Septic Shock

Keywords: midodrine; septic shock; vasopressors; ICU LOS (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/8/2021 by Kim Boswell, MD
Click here to contact Kim Boswell, MD

A recent pilot study was conducted in two centers (Mayo Clinic & Cleveland Clinic Affiliate) and aimed to evaluate if the administration of oral midodrine in early septic shock could decrease the use of IV vasopressors and decrease ICU and hospital length of stay (LOS).  The study was a placebo-controlled, double blinded randomized trial.

This study enrolled:

  • 32 adult patients 
  • within 24 hours of Sepsis 3 definition who continued to have hypotension (MAP < 70mmHg) after antibiotic & 30mL/kg IVF administration
  • 3 doses of midodrine 10mg were administered

The study did not find a statistical difference between the two groups in the use of vasopressors or ICU/Hospital LOS. However, there was a trend in the midodrine group which is suggestive of decreased vasopressor use and ICU/Hospital LOS. 

It is Important to note the study was not powered to determine clinical significance. Overall the trend noted in the midodrine group should encourage further studies that are clinically powered to determine if there is a statistical difference and therefore a potential benefit to early initiation of oral midodrine in septic shock.

 

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 Vancomycin infusion reactions can manifest as pruritus and an erythematous rash of the neck, face, and torso during or after a vancomycin infusion.  This is a histamine reaction caused by degranulation of mast cells and basophils, and can be caused short infusion times <60 min.  It is commonly treated with antihistamines and/or a slowing of the infusion rate. 

Historically, this has been called “Red Man Syndrome.”  As we move towards more inclusive language in medicine, it is increasingly necessary to remove language that is insensitive and/or offensive.  Not only is “Red Man Syndrome” offensive towards Native Americans, it also is an inaccurate term that implies a clinical presentation in white male patients when this reaction can occur in any race or gender. 
The preferred terminology is now “vancomycin infusion reaction” or “vancomycin flushing reaction” and is supported by physician, pharmacist, and pediatric professional publications.    
Allergy documentation matters.  Always include descriptors of the reaction to avoid labeling patients “vancomycin allergic” if it truly was an infusion reaction as this can lead to suboptimal second line therapy being unnecessarily selected.  
 
What you can do:
1.       Replace “Red Man Syndrome” with vancomycin infusion reaction in your teaching and vernacular
2.       Remove “Red Man Syndrome” from patient allergies and replace with Vancomycin Infusion Reaction with a short description of what the patient experienced
3.       Avoid using “Red Man Syndrome” in your future scholarly works and publications

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Early Vasopressin in Septic Shock

Keywords: Pressors, Vasopressin, Sepsis, Septic Shock (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/31/2021 by Mark Sutherland, MD
Click here to contact Mark Sutherland, MD

Norepinephrine is widely considered the first-line vasopressor for patients in septic shock.  Vasopressin is often added to norepinephrine in patients requiring escalating doses, but when to add vasopressin, and what exactly the benefit is (as opposed to just further titrating up the norepinephrine) remain unclear.  Given the limited evidence for a patient-oriented benefit and the increasing cost of vasopressin, some centers are becoming more judicious in the use of vasopressin.  A systematic review in AJEM October 2021 examined the literature on early (< 6 hours of diagnosis) addition of vasopressin to the management of septic shock patients, compared to either no vasopressin or starting it after 6 hours.

Improved with early vasopressin: Need for renal replacement therapy (RRT; secondary outcome)

No difference: mortality, ICU length of stay, hospital length of stay, new onset arrhythmias

 

Bottom Line: When, and if, to start vasopressin in patients requiring escalating doses of norepinephrine remains controversial.  Based on the prior VASST trial, many providers will start vasopressin when norepi doses reach ~ 5-15 mcg/min (approx 0.1-0.2 mcg/kg/min), but there remains limited data to support this practice, and either starting vasopressin or continuing to titrate the norepinephrine as needed are both reasonable approaches in most patients.

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Question

 

What is the mechanism of action of N-acetylcysteine that is used to treat acetaminophen induced liver injury/toxicity?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Refractory Anaphylaxis

  • Refractory anaphylaxis is defined as anaphylaxis that does not respond to at least 2 doses of 300 mcg of epinephrine given IM into the anterolateral thigh.
  • Refractory anaphylaxis can be due to several factors including patient comorbidities, delayed diagnosis, delayed epinephrine administration, or concomitant beta-blocker or ACE-inhibitor medication use.
  • Consider the following treatments in patients with refractory anaphylaxis, persistent hypotension, and shock:
    • Aggressive IVF resuscitation - patients may need up to 7L of IVFs
    • Epinephrine infusion (1-10 mcg/min) to target a MAP of 65 mm Hg
    • Glucagon (1-5 mg via slow IV push) for those taking a beta-blocker and who fail to respond to epinephrine
    • Norepinephrine, vasopressin, angiotensin II, methylene blue, or dobutamine can be administered with epinephrine for persistent hypotension. 
    • VA-ECMO - though there is no prospective evidence on the use of ECMO in anaphylaxis.

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Sodium bicarbonate in pediatric cardiac arrests

Keywords: pediatric, cardiac arrest, metabolic acidosis, sodium bicarbonate (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/21/2021 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 6/18/2021)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

During cardiac arrest, metabolic acidosis develops because of hypoxia-induced anaerobic metabolism and decreased acid excretion caused by inadequate renal perfusion.  Sodium bicarbonate (SB) administration was considered as a buffer therapy to correct metabolic acidosis.  However,  SB has several side effects such as hypernatremia, metabolic alkalosis, hypocalcemia, hypercapnia, impairment of tissue oxygenation, intracellular acidosis, hyperosmolarity, and increased lactate production.  The 2010 Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) guideline stated that routine administration of SB was not recommended for cardiac arrest except in special resuscitation situations, such as hyperkalemia or certain toxidromes.  An evidence update was conducted in the 2020 Pediatric Life Support (PLS) guideline and the recommendations of 2010 remain valid.  This article was a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies of pediatric in hospital cardiac arrests.  The primary outcome was the rate of survival to hospital discharge after in hospital cardiac arrests. The secondary outcomes were the 24-hour survival rate and neurological outcomes.   

 
Bottom line: The result of this study supports current PLS guidelines that “routine administration of SB  is not recommended in pediatric cardiac arrest in the absence of hyperkalemia or sodium channel blocker (eg. tricyclic antidepressant) toxicity”.

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Category: Neurology

Title: Factors that Decrease Post-Lumbar Puncture Headaches

Keywords: Lumbar puncture, LP, post-dural, headache, intracranial hypotension (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/12/2021 by WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD (Updated: 6/18/2021)
Click here to contact WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD

  • Post-lumbar puncture (LP) headache, reported in up to 33% of patients, is due to a persistent CSF leak causing intracranial hypotension.
  • A recent review by Cognat et al. looked to answer several frequently asked clinical questions:
    • Who is at decreased risk of post-LP headache?
      • Infants and children have a similar prevalence compared to adults.
      • Older patients have a lower risk, with an incidence of <5% in those over 60 years old.
    • Does needle choice minimize the risk of post-LP headache?
      • Atraumatic non-cutting ("Whiteacre" or "Sprotte") needles have lower rates (RR 0.4, 0.34-0.47).
      • The use of atraumatic needles does not affect the rate of success, success on first attempt, or duration of the LP.
    • Does performing the LP in a specific way prevent post-LP headache?
      • LPs performed in the lateral decubitus position and at a higher intervertebral space have a lower incidence.
      • Difficult LPs (e.g. multiple attempts, traumatic tap) do not appear to affect the rate.
      • The volume of CSF removed does not affect the rate.
    • Do any treatments after the LP reduce post-LP headache occurrence?
      • Bed rest after LP does not reduce and may in fact worsen the likelihood.
      • Fluids and caffeine do not prevent post-LP headaches.

Bottom Line: The use of atraumatic needles is most effective in reducing the risk of post-LP headaches. These needles are easy to use and have similar rate of success as cutting needles.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: The RECOVERY Trial: Tocilizumab in COVID-19

Keywords: COVID-19, tocilizumab, ICU, mechanical ventilation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/11/2021 by Lindsay Ritter, MD (Updated: 6/18/2021)
Click here to contact Lindsay Ritter, MD

Takeaways

RECAP: RECOVERY trial is a large, randomized, open label, adaptive trial studying different treatments on COVID-19. Most well known is the use of dexamethasone which reduced mortality by 1/3 in COVID patients requiring mechanical ventilation and by 1/5 in those requiring oxygen, with no benefit on those patients not requiring oxygen.

They recently published results in the Lancet on the use of tocilizumab. 

Population: 

  • Up to 21 days after main randomization, regardless of treatment, RECOVERY trial patients with progressive COVID-19 were eligible for tocilizumab. 

Inclusion: 

  • April 23rd 2020 to Jan 24th 2021-- 21,550 patients with hypoxia (<92% on RA or requiring O2), systemic inflammation (CRP > 75 mg/L) eligible for standard care or standard care plus toci 400-800 mg (dosing based on weight), second dose 12-24 hours later if no improvement

Outcomes: 

  • Primary outcome 28 day mortality followed by:
  • Hospital discharge within 28 days
  • Rate of mechanical ventilation 

Results: 

  • 621 (31%) tocilizumab patients and 729 (35%) of usual care patients died within 21 days (RR 0.85, p=0.0028). Consistent even in those receiving steroids (83%).
  • Tocilizumab group more likely to be discharged from the hospital, less likely to receive invasive mechanical ventilation (35% vs 42%).

Conclusion: 

  • Tocilizumab improved survival and other clinical outcomes- by 1/3 for those on simple oxygen, and by ½ for those receiving invasive mechanical ventilation.
  • Added to the additional benefit of steroids. 
  • Findings support the earlier REMAP-CAP trial on the effectiveness of tocilizumab for ICU COVID patients 

 

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Category: Orthopedics

Title: ESR and CRP in Spinal Infection

Keywords: Epidural abscess, back pain, vertebral osteomyelitis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/8/2021 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Both erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are highly sensitive (84-100%) for spinal infections and are observed in >80% with vertebral osteomyelitis and epidural abscesses.

 


ESR 

Most sensitive and specific serum marker, usually elevated in both spinal epidural abscess (SEA) and vertebral osteomyelitis.  

ESR was elevated in 94-100% of patients with SEA vs. only 33% of non-SEA patients

Mean ESR in patients with SEA was significantly elevated (51-77mm/hour)

CRP 

Not highly specific

Less useful for acute diagnosis since CRP levels rise faster and return to baseline faster than ESR (elevated CRP seen in 87% of patients with SEA as well as in 50% of patients with spine pain not due to a SEA)

Better used as a marker of response to treatment.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Background:

Cardiac arrest from massive pulmonary embolism (PE) can be up to 90% (1). A recent systemic review evaluated the efficacy of Venoarterial-Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (VA-ECMO) for PE-related cardiac arrest.

Results:

The authors screened 1115 articles and included 77 articles, including gray literature.  The authors performed a quantitative analysis of a total of 301 patients.

Overall, 183/301 (61%) patients survived to hospital discharge, a significant improvement from 90%.

Patients who were cannulated during chest compression were associated with 7x higher odds of death (OR, 6.84; 95% CI, 1.53–30.58; p = 0.01), compared to those who were cannulated after ROSC.  However, cannulation in the ED was not associated with improved outcomes, compared with other cannulation site.

No increased risk of death among patients who received tPA prior to VA-ECMO vs. those who did not (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.39–1.54; p = 0.48).

Patients whose age > 65 years of age were associated with 3X risk of death, compared to those with age < 65 years (OR, 3.56; 95% CI, 1.29–9.87; p = 0.02).

Take-home points

Please consider “early” VA-ECMO for eligible patients who have cardiac arrest from massive PE.  However, it will take great convincing to push the PERT team to cannulate for VA-ECMO while the patient is still receiving chest compression.

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Background:

Cardiac arrest from massive pulmonary embolism (PE) can be up to 90% (1). A recent systemic review evaluated the efficacy of Venoarterial-Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (VA-ECMO) for PE-related cardiac arrest.

Results:

The authors screened 1115 articles and included 77 articles, including gray literature.  The authors performed a quantitative analysis of a total of 301 patients.

Overall, 183/301 (61%) patients survived to hospital discharge, a significant improvement from 90%.

Patients who were cannulated during chest compression were associated with 7x higher odds of death (OR, 6.84; 95% CI, 1.53–30.58; p = 0.01), compared to those who were cannulated after ROSC.  However, cannulation in the ED was not associated with improved outcomes, compared with other cannulation sites.

No increased risk of death among patients who received tPA prior to VA-ECMO vs. those who did not (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.39–1.54; p = 0.48).

Patients whose age > 65 years of age were associated with 3X risk of death, compared to those with age < 65 years (OR, 3.56; 95% CI, 1.29–9.87; p = 0.02).

Take-home points

Please consider “early” VA-ECMO for eligible patients who have cardiac arrest from massive PE.  However, it will take great convincing to push the PERT team to cannulate for VA-ECMO while the patient is still receiving chest compression.

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  • Electronic cigarette (E-cigs) smoking (vaping) continues to be a major concern among adolescents and teens, who mistakenly think it is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes or don't consider it as smoking at all.
  • Typically, they contain nicotine which is highly addictive and can cause harm in the developing brain, but can also contain other dangerous chemicals, flavorings and drugs.
  • They often contain higher amounts and concentrations of nicotine. 1 JUUL pod can contain the equivalent of 20 packs of nicotine cigarettes.
  • Inhaled aerosols of the various chemicals, flavorings, and heavy metals have resulted in lung disease and acute respiratory failure. Bilateral infiltrates on chest imaging is a common finding.
  • Nicotine toxicity can also occur. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, salivation, headache, dizziness, confusion, and seizures. Hypertension and tachycardia acutely, followed by hypotension and bradycardia can be expected.
  • Bottom Line: Ask specifically about electronic cigarette use in adolescents and teens who present with acute complaints. One study found that of those who regularly used and presented for evaluation of symptoms, 98% were respiratory, 81% were gastrointestinal, and 100% were constitutional in nature.

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Category: Neurology

Title: Functional Neurological Disorders in the ED

Keywords: functional neurological disorder, FND, stroke mimic, non-epileptic seizure (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/28/2021 by WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD
Click here to contact WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD

  • Functional neurological disorders (FND) are unintentional and involuntary. 
  • Imaging and electrophysiological studies have shown cerebral dysfunctions in attention and perception, which may explain why symptoms often improve with distraction. 
  • Diagnosis requires demonstration of inconsistency and/or incongruency with recognized neurological or medical conditions. 
    • No clinical sign alone is diagnostic. 
    • Patients may have comorbidities such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, or epilepsy. 
  • Hoover’s sign and drift without pronation have been described as positive signs for FND. 
    • These can also be seen in patients with pain, neglect, or apraxia. 
  • Avoid maneuvers that may harm the patient, such as dropping their arm onto their face. 
    • A high-pitched tuning fork applied to the nostrils is an effective stimulus to assess responsiveness.  
  • Avoid using terms like non-organic, psychogenic, or pseudoseizure. 
  • When counseling a patient, avoid only explaining what conditions they do not have or attributing symptoms to psychological problems or stress. 
    • Instead, name the diagnosis, explain that their symptoms are real and common, and emphasize that symptoms are potentially reversible. 
  • Early diagnosis of FND is associated with improved physical and psychological outcomes. 

Bottom Line: Functional neurological disorders (FND) are commonly encountered in the ED. A thorough neurological exam may reveal positive signs suggestive of FND. Early diagnosis and referral to specialists may improve outcomes. 

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Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) for spinal infection

 

Sensitive for spinal infection but not specific

Elevated ESR is observed in greater than 80% of patients with vertebral osteomyelitis and epidural abscess

ESR is the most sensitive and specific serum marker for spinal infection

               Usually elevated in acute presentations of SEA and vertebral osteomyelitis

ESR was elevated in 94-100% of patients with SEA vs. only 33% of non-SEA patients

Mean ESR in patients with SEA was significantly elevated (51-77mm/hour)

Infection is unlikely in patients with an ESR less than 20 mm/h.

Incorporating ESR into an ED decision guideline may improve diagnostic delays and help distinguish patients in whom MRI may be performed on a non-emergent basis

 

 

 

 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Avoid Over-Oxygenation in Acute COPD Exacerbation

Keywords: COPD, emphysema, acute respiratory failure, hypoxia, oxygen saturation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/20/2021 by Kami Windsor, MD
Click here to contact Kami Windsor, MD

 

Supplemental oxygen therapy is frequently required for patients presenting with acute respiratory distress and COPD exacerbation. Over-oxygenation can derail compensatory physiologic responses to hypoxia,1 resulting in worsening VQ mismatch and, to a lesser degree, decreases in minute ventilation, that cause worsened respiratory failure.

The 2012 DECAF (Dyspnea, Eosinopenia, Consolidation, Acidaemia, and Atrial Fibrillation) score was found to predict risk of in-hospital mortality in patients admitted with acute COPD exacerbation.2,3 Data from the DECAF study’s derivation and external validation cohorts were examined specifically to look at outcome associated with varying levels of oxygen saturation.

  • 1027 patients from 6 UK hospitals receiving supplemental oxygen at admission
  • Lowest in-hospital mortality seen in the 88-92% cohort 

 

 

  • Adj OR for in-hospital mortality in ≥97% vs 88-92% group: 2.97 (95% CI 1.58-5.58, p=0.001)
  • Adj OR for in-hospital mortality in 93-96% vs 88-92% group: 1.98 (95% CI 1.09-3.60, p=0.025)
  • Surprisingly, mortality risk seen more in normocapnic than hypercapnic patients
  • Association between admission SpO2 and mortality persisted after adjusting for baseline risk and disease severity using the DECAF and NEWS 2 score

 

Bottom Line

In patients presenting to the ED with acute COPD exacerbation requiring oxygen supplementation, a target oxygen saturation of 88-92% is associated with the lowest in-hospital mortality, and higher oxygen saturations should be avoided independent of patients' PCO2 levels.

 

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Pediatric stroke

Keywords: stroke, altered mental status, TPA (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/16/2021 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 6/18/2021)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

Stroke diagnosis is often delayed in pediatric patients due to delay in seeking care, misdiagnosis and lack of stroke being included in the initial differential diagnosis. 
Perinatal strokes (occurring between 20 weeks gestation and 28 days of life) are more common than strokes in ages 29 days to 18 years.  The incidence of perinatal stroke is 37/100,000 births and 2.3/100,000 children after 29 days.  Infants age 29 days to < 1 year had the highest rate of stroke outside of perinatal strokes, followed by 15-19 year olds.
The most common risk factors for pediatric strokes include: arteriopathies (such as arterial dissection, moyamoya and vasculitis), cardiac disorders (single ventricle physiology have the highest risk) and infections.  Sickle cell disease and cerebral venous thrombosis are other risk factors for acute ischemic stroke.
Children younger than 6 years were more likely to present with altered mental status or seizures.  Other presentations included facial weakness, speech disturbances, hemiparesis, headache, nausea and vomiting.
There is a pediatric NIH stroke scale that can be used in children at least 2 years old that accounts for developmental differences.
Differential Diagnosis includes (most to least common): migraines, seizures, Bell's palsy, conversion disorder and syncope. Once study found that up to 63% of patients that were suspected of having a stroke, but did not, had another significant disease process that required further evaluation. These other processes included vascular anomalies, seizures, inflammatory disease, metabolic anomalies and drug ingestions.
MRI brain and MRA of the head and neck are gold standard for diagnosis.  If this is not obtainable or would be delayed, then head CT followed by CTA of the head and neck should be obtained.
The treatment of acute ischemic stroke is still not fully researched and much is adopted from adult protocols.   TPA and endovascular thrombectomy are not well established.  There has been a small study of patients treated with TPA, but a subsequent NIH funded trial could not recruit enough patients.  Adult dosing guidelines for TPA have been adopted if TPA is going to be used and should be given within 4.5 hours of symptom onset.  Endovascular therapy should be considered only in patients with persistent, disabling neurological defects and a confirmed large vessel occlusion.  Patient selection is limited by the side of the catheter used.  Patients with confirmed ischemic stroke who do not receive TPA or endovascular therapy should receive antiplatelet therapy.
Cerebral venous thrombosis is treated with anticoagulation.  Hemorrhagic strokes in children are treated similar to adults.
Exchange transfusion is the mainstay of treatment for sickle cell patients with a goal to decrease HbS to < 30%.

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