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Eur J Pediatr. 2001 Jan;160(1):37-42.

A major role of viruses in convulsive status epilepticus in children: a prospective study of 22 children.

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Department of Paediatrics, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.


A group of 22 previously healthy children with their first convulsive status epilepticus (SE), treated at Kuopio University Hospital, Finland, were prospectively studied. Eleven children had febrile and 11 afebrile SE. Polymerase chain reaction was used to detect specific DNA from CSF, enzyme immunoassays and immunofluorescence assays to detect specific antibodies in serum and CSF, viral cultures were obtained from CSF, throat and stool and antigen detection from throat specimens. Viral infection was identified in 10 of 11 children with febrile SE (91%) and in 7 of 11 with afebrile SE (64%). Human herpes virus 6 infection was identified in 12 children (55%), and in at least six of them the infection was primary. Single cases of human herpes virus 7, parainfluenza 3, adenovirus 1, echovirus 22, rota, influenza A and Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection were diagnosed.


Viruses, human herpes virus 6 in particular, seem to be major associated factors in convulsive status epilepticus, both febrile and afebrile. Human herpes virus 7 and Mycoplasma pneumoniae are novel agents associated with status epilepticus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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