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J Child Neurol. 2003 Apr;18(4):241-6.

Magnetic resonance imaging findings in infantile spasms: etiologic and pathophysiologic aspects.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Division of Child Neurology, Istanbul University, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey.


An etiologic evaluation of 86 patients with infantile spasms is presented and the place of cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings within this spectrum is discussed. A total of 103 cranial MRIs, performed between 4 and 72 months of age, were analyzed and classified according to the etiologic and pathophysiologic aspects. Ninety-one percent of cases were diagnosed as symptomatic infantile spasms, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy was the primary cause (30%). The most common involvement was thinning of the corpus callosum in 43 patients (50%), followed by dilation of cerebral ventricles in 32 (36%), delayed myelination in 23 (26.7%), lesions of diencephalic deep gray matter in 17 (19.7%), and enlargement of the subarachnoid space in 12 (14%). Thin corpus callosum and diffuse atrophy were changes mainly associated with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, whereas delayed myelination seemed to be independent from a specific etiology. The results showed that cranial MRI may provide considerable information regarding not only the etiology but also the pathophysiology of infantile spasms.

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