Immunosuppressive Regimen Treats Pediatric Brain Illness

May reverse neurological deficits in childhood primary angiitis of the central nervous system
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Immunosuppressive therapy may improve long-term neurological outcomes in children with childhood primary angiitis of the central nervous system (CNS), according to research published online Oct. 4 in The Lancet Neurology.

Clare Hutchinson, M.D., of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and colleagues studied outcomes in 19 patients (under the age of 18 at diagnosis) with small vessel childhood primary angiitis of the CNS who received induction therapy with steroids and pulses of intravenous cyclophosphamide. Fourteen patients then underwent maintenance therapy with azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil.

At 24 months, the researchers found that nine of the 13 patients who completed the follow-up had a good neurological outcome by pediatric stroke outcome measure score; eight of the 19 total patients had disease flares, and four patients achieved disease remission off medication.

"This treatment protocol of immunosuppressive therapy may improve long-term neurological outcome in children with small vessel childhood primary angiitis of the CNS. Identification and appropriate diagnosis of children with the disorder is crucial because with standardized treatment good neurological outcome is a realistic goal," the authors write.

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