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Neurology. 1986 Jun;36(6):838-41.

Asymptomatic children with epilepsy: little benefit from screening for anticonvulsant-induced liver, blood, or renal damage.


In a prospective study of 199 asymptomatic children receiving anticonvulsant drugs, we evaluated routine screening for liver, renal, and hematologic toxicity. Urinalysis, CBC, differential, platelets, SGOT, bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase (plus amylase and fibrinogen in patients taking valproate) were obtained between 0 and 24 months. Compliance was excellent. Urine was always normal. Six percent of patients had transient minor abnormalities of blood studies necessitating rechecks. All were normal on repeat. Two children had major blood abnormalities recognized, leading to drug changes that proved to have been unnecessary. Baseline determinations and prompt attention to symptoms of toxicity should replace routine screening of blood and urine.

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