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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Apr;54(4):324-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04227.x. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

Recovery of consciousness following acute symptomatic seizures due to central nervous system infections in children.

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1
School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

Abstract

AIM:

The aim of this study was to assess whether acute symptomatic epileptic seizures associated with central nervous system infections (AS(inf) ) have a different ictal and postictal course to seizures of other aetiologies.

METHOD:

A case note analysis of 81 children (47 males; 34 females; age range 1mo-15y 6mo; median age 12mo) with central nervous system infections was undertaken. Seizure type, duration, aetiology, and timing were recorded. Recovery time to full consciousness in those not intubated was determined. Intubation rates and recovery times were compared with those from previous studies.

RESULTS:

Of the 81 children, 40 (49.4%) had one or more AS(inf) . The different aetiologies were bacterial meningitis, aseptic meningitis, abscess/empyema, encephalitis, and postoperative infection. Twenty-two had status epilepticus. The intubation rate in children with AS(inf) was higher than that in children with seizures of other aetiologies (21/40 [52.5%] vs 4/124 [3.23%]; p < 0.0001). Median postictal recovery time was 4.33 hours (0-207h). Children with AS(inf) took 4.3 (p<0.01), 3.0 (p=0.004), and 8.8 (p<0.001) times longer to recover than children who had seizures from all causes, remote symptomatic seizures, and febrile seizures respectively.

INTERPRETATION:

AS(inf) in children are often longer, more likely to be associated with status epilepticus, more likely to necessitate intubation, and take longer to recover from than seizures of other aetiologies. This may help in the early diagnosis of central nervous system infection in children presenting with seizures.

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