Clinical characteristics, stroke etiology, and outcome (modified Rankin scale [0-6] score at 3-6 months) in children (1 month-16 years) and young adults (16-45 years) with arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) were compared in a multicenter study at University of Bern and other centers in Switzerland. Using the Swiss NeuroPediatric Stroke Registry and Bernese stroke database, data collected prospectively from Jan 2000 to Dec 2008 showed that 128 children and 199 young adults suffered from AIS. Children were more likely to be male than young adults (62%/49%, p=0.023). Children were less frequently hypertensive, and less likely to have hypercholesterolemia and family history of stroke. Stroke severity was similar in children and young adults. The etiology of stroke in children was more likely to be “other determined cause.” Cervicocerebral artery dissections were less frequent in children. Outcome was similar, and favorable in 59% children and 60% of young adults. Mortality was also similar, 4% and 6%. A low score on the pediatric version of the National Institutes of Health stroke scale was the most important predictor of favorable outcome (p<0.001). 
COMMENT. Stroke severity and clinical outcome at 3 to 6 months are similar in children and young adults but stroke etiology and risk factors are different.