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Pediatr Neurol. 2008 Dec;39(6):404-14. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2008.08.008.

Magnetic resonance imaging findings in children with a first recognized seizure.

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Department of Radiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana.


This study characterized structural abnormalities associated with onset of seizures in children, using magnetic resonance imaging and a standardized classification system in a large prospective cohort. Two hundred eighty-one children aged 6-14 years completed magnetic resonance imaging within 6 months of their first recognized seizure. Most examinations were performed with a standardized, dedicated seizure protocol; all were scored using a standard scoring system. At least one magnetic resonance imaging abnormality was identified in 87 of 281 (31%) children with a first recognized seizure. Two or more abnormalities were identified in 34 (12%). The commonest abnormalities were ventricular enlargement (51%), leukomalacia/gliosis (23%), gray-matter lesions such as heterotopias and cortical dysplasia (12%), volume loss (12%), other white-matter lesions (9%), and encephalomalacia (6%). Abnormalities defined as significant, or potentially related to seizures, occurred in 40 (14%). Temporal lobe and hippocampal abnormalities were detected at a higher frequency than in previous studies (13/87). Magnetic resonance imaging and a standardized, reliable, valid scoring system demonstrated a higher rate of abnormal findings than previously reported, including findings formerly considered incidental. Practice parameters may need revision, to expand the definition of significant abnormalities and support wider use of magnetic resonance imaging in children with newly diagnosed seizures.

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