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Successful Outcome in an Adolescent with Artery of Percheron Occlusion who was Treated with Tissue Plasminogen Activator

      Abstract

      Background

      Ischemic stroke is relatively rare in children, leading to a low level of suspicion and delayed diagnosis, particularly in cases of posterior circulation occlusion when symptoms are less indicative. Occlusion of the artery of Percheron (AOP) results in nonspecific neurologic symptoms, including drowsiness, aphasia or dysarthria, ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, and dysmetria. Previous reports, mainly in adults, described late diagnosis and severe residual disability.

      Case Report

      We report a case of a 16-year-old male who presented to the pediatric emergency department with altered mental status. There was no history of trauma or intoxication. The main symptoms included confusion, slurred speech, and multiple falls starting 1 h before arrival to the emergency department. No motor deficits or other focal signs were noticed. The patient's consciousness gradually decreased followed by apneic events. Routine laboratory tests, urinary toxic screen, and a computed tomography scan of the head were normal. A magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain revealed bilateral restrictive changes in the thalamus. A diagnosis of AOP occlusion was made, and the patient was treated with tissue plasminogen activator (6 h after symptom onset). He was extubated on day 4 and discharged on the day 10 of admission without any neuropsychological deficit.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Posterior circulation stroke in the pediatric population is a diagnostic challenge that often results in suboptimal treatment and unfavorable outcomes. Prompt imaging studies in children with nonspecific altered mental status enable timely diagnosis and thrombolytic treatment that may substantially improve the outcome.

      Keywords

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