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Epilepsia. 2017 Nov;58(11):1902-1911. doi: 10.1111/epi.13914. Epub 2017 Sep 29.

Reduced infancy and childhood epilepsy following hypothermia-treated neonatal encephalopathy.

Author information

1
Neonatal Neuroscience, Translational Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.
2
Division of Physiology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate what proportion of a regional cohort of cooled infants with neonatal encephalopathy develop epilepsy (determined by the International League Against Epilepsy [ILAE] definition and the number of antiepileptic drugs [AEDs]) up to 8 years of age.

METHODS:

From 2006-2013, 151 infants with perinatal asphyxia underwent 72 h cooling. Clinical and amplitude-integrated electroencepalography (aEEG) with single-channel EEG-verified neonatal seizures were treated with AEDs. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was assessed using a 0-11 severity score. Postneonatal seizures, epilepsy rates, and AED treatments were documented. One hundred thirty-four survivors were assessed at 18-24 months; adverse outcome was defined as death or Bayley III composite Cognition/Language or Motor scores <85 and/or severe cerebral palsy or severely reduced vision/hearing. Epilepsy rates in 103 children age 4-8 years were also documented.

RESULTS:

aEEG confirmed seizures occurred precooling in 77 (57%) 151 of neonates; 48% had seizures during and/or after cooling and received AEDs. Only one infant was discharged on AEDs. At 18-24 months, one third of infants had an adverse outcome including 11% mortality. At 2 years, 8 (6%) infants had an epilepsy diagnosis (ILAE definition), of whom 3 (2%) received AEDs. Of the 103 4- to 8-year-olds, 14 (13%) had developed epilepsy, with 7 (7%) receiving AEDs. Infants/children on AEDs had higher MRI scores than those not on AEDs (median [interquartile range] 9 [8-11] vs. 2 [0-4]) and poorer outcomes. Nine (64%) of 14 children with epilepsy had cerebral palsy compared to 13 (11%) of 120 without epilepsy, and 10 (71%) of 14 children with epilepsy had adverse outcomes versus 23 (19%) of 120 survivors without epilepsy. The number of different AEDs given to control neonatal seizures, aEEG severity precooling, and MRI scores predicted childhood epilepsy.

SIGNIFICANCE:

We report, in a regional cohort of infants cooled for perinatal asphyxia, 6% with epilepsy at 2 years (2% on AEDs) increasing to 13% (7% on AEDs) at early school age. These AED rates are much lower than those reported in the cooling trials, even with adjusting for our cohort's milder asphyxia. Long-term follow-up is needed to document final epilepsy rates.

KEYWORDS:

Antiepileptic drug; Childhood; Epilepsy; Hypothermia; Hypoxia-ischemia; Infancy; International League Against Epilepsy; Newborn; Seizure

PMID:
28961316
DOI:
10.1111/epi.13914
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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