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J Child Neurol. 2007 Apr;22(4):389-95.

Seizure recurrence and developmental disabilities after neonatal seizures: outcomes are unrelated to use of phenobarbital prophylaxis.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Golisano Children's Hospital, New York 14642, USA.


This study investigated treatment patterns at discharge in infants with neonatal seizures and evaluated the impact of outpatient phenobarbital prophylaxis on the frequency of seizure recurrence and the long-term neurodevelopmental outcome at 1 to 11 years. Infants with neonatal seizures during a 12-year period were identified retrospectively (n = 146), and data were obtained by medical chart review. Outcomes were ascertained by standardized telephone survey. Thirty-three infants (23%) were taking phenobarbital, and 99 infants (68%) were taking no anticonvulsants at discharge. Comparisons were made between these 2 groups. Phenobarbital prophylaxis did not improve neurologic outcomes, either with respect to seizure recurrence or neurologic development. These data have important implications at a time when many are questioning the practice of prophylaxis after neonatal seizures and when newer anticonvulsants are being recommended for treatment of acute neonatal seizures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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