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J Pediatr. 2001 Mar;138(3):373-7.

Postictal cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities in children.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the frequency and characteristics of seizure-induced cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) abnormalities in children and to identify potential alternative causes of these findings.

METHODS:

Consecutive patients (n = 80) who underwent lumbar puncture within 24 hours after a seizure were studied retrospectively. The presence of CSF abnormalities in total leukocytes, polymorphonuclear cells, and protein was determined by using age-specific reference values. Coexisting conditions that could affect CSF findings, such as traumatic lumbar puncture, concurrent neurologic disease, and undiagnosed meningitis, were identified.

RESULTS:

Eighteen of the 80 patients were excluded from the final study group because of the presence of another condition that could alter the CSF. More than 50% of the excluded patients had an abnormal CSF leukocyte count or protein level, including 2 patients with initially undiagnosed meningitis, which was subsequently detected by post-hoc polymerase chain reaction testing. In the remaining 62 patients, postictal pleocytosis was detected in only 3 (5%), and increased protein was detected in only 6 (10%). The maximal postictal pleocytosis and protein level were 8 x 10(6) leukocytes/L (8 leukocytes/mm(3)) and 0.52 g/L (52 mg/dL), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Seizure-induced CSF abnormalities are rare in children, and alternative, often unidentified, disease processes may account for many observed postictal abnormalities. All patients with abnormal CSF after a seizure should be thoroughly evaluated for other causes of the abnormality.

PMID:
11241045
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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