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Epilepsy Behav. 2019 Aug 6;99:106446. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.106446. [Epub ahead of print]

Pediatric emergency department visit characteristics of the patients on the ketogenic diet.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Emergency Care, Dr. Behçet Uz Children's Hospital, İzmir, Turkey.. Electronic address: aykutcaglar@gmail.com.
2
Department of Pediatric Neurology, Dr. Behçet Uz Children's Hospital, İzmir, Turkey.
3
Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Behçet Uz Children's Hospital, İzmir, Turkey.
4
Department of Pediatric Emergency Care, Dr. Behçet Uz Children's Hospital, İzmir, Turkey.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The ketogenic diet (KD) has been frequently used for the patients with drug-resistant epilepsy in recent years. The management of these patients in emergency departments (EDs) has some difficulties due to the special needs of KD. We aimed to determine the characteristics and the management of the patients on the KD in the pediatric ED setting.

METHODS:

Patients who were on the KD and admitted to the ED were included in the study. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data of all patients were retrospectively reviewed and recorded.

RESULTS:

There were 105 emergency admissions of 27 patients. The median age of all patients was 55.0 (IQR: 29.0-91.0) months. The most common symptom was vomiting (43.8%). Four patients had upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and one patient had hyperammonemic acute hepatic failure while receiving KD. Of the patients, 41.9% had seizure-related ED admission. Infections were present in 41.9% of the ED visits. The frequency of status epilepticus was significantly lower in the patients who were on the KD for more than 6 months (p < 0.01). In 42.9% of all ED admissions, dextrose containing maintenance fluids was administered mistakenly; although ketosis rate was lower, no seizure was observed in this group.

CONCLUSION:

The patients on the KD can be admitted to EDs with intercurrent illnesses or adverse effects of the KD. For accurate management, emergency physicians must be aware of the common reasons for ED admission of these patients and the effects of the KD.

KEYWORDS:

Emergency; Epilepsy; Ketogenic diet; Pediatrics; Status epilepticus

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