March 24, 2020

The Features of Neonatal Seizures as Predictors of Drug-Resistant Epilepsy in Children

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of the features of neonatal seizures for pharmacoresistant epilepsy in children.

METHOD: This is a retrospective study that involved all children diagnosed as having epilepsy who had neonatal seizures and who were hospitalized at the Neurology Department of the Mother and Child Healthcare Institute in Belgrade from January the 1st 2017 until December 31st 2017. The following parameters and their impact on the outcome were investigated: perinatal data, the characteristics of epileptic seizures in the neonatal period, and the response to anticonvulsant treatment. The presence of pharmacoresistance was observed as an outcome parameter. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to define predictors of drug-resistant epilepsy.

RESULTS: The study involved 55 children, 35 (63.6%) male and 20 (36.4%) female. The average age of the children at the end of the observation period was 5.17?years (min: 0.25, max: 17.75, iqr (interquartile range): 6.92). Pharmacoresistant epilepsy was found in 36 (65.5%) children. The most common type of epilepsy was focal, which affected 30 patients (54.5%), than generalized, which affected 15 patients (27.3%), and combined generalized and focal, which affected 8 patients (14.5%). At the end of the observation period, 28 patients (50.9%) had no seizures, while 14 (25.5%) had daily seizures. It was found that the pharmacoresistant neonatal seizures and metabolic-genetic disorders were predictive factors of the occurrence of pharmacoresistant epilepsy.

CONCLUSION: Patients prone to developing pharmacoresistant epilepsy might be identified as early as the neonatal and early infant period. High incidence of asphyxia co-occurring with established genetic-metabolic disease further emphasizes need for genetic testing in infants with neonatal seizures including in the presence of hypoxic-ischemic injury.

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