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Neurological Review
Jan 2012

Outcome Measures Used in Pediatric Stroke Studies: A Systematic Review

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Neurology, Division of Pediatric Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Dr Jordan is now with the Department of Neurology, Division of Pediatric Neurology and Stroke, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Arch Neurol. 2012;69(1):23-27. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.1015

Because no gold-standard outcome measure or measures exist to allow comparison of pediatric stroke study outcomes in clinical trials, we designed a systematic review of the literature to survey the current use of pediatric stroke outcome measures. Studies that used at least 1 standardized measure to assess the outcome of children with ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, from full-term newborn to age 18 years, were included. Although 34 studies were included, an additional 36 studies could not be included because ad hoc, author-generated outcome measures were used. Excluding those measures in neuropsychological batteries, 38 unique outcome measures were used. The Wechsler Intelligence Scales, Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure, and Bayley Scales of Infant Development were among the most used, but 79% of outcome measures were used by no more than 2 studies. Although many measures used have been validated for use in children with other medical conditions or for adults with stroke, only 1 measure has been specifically validated for use in pediatric ischemic stroke. To maximize comparability of future clinical trial results, agreement regarding a preferred pediatric stroke outcome scale or battery of measures is paramount; these measures should be reliable, responsive to change, and specifically validated for use in children with stroke.