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Neonatal seizures associated with cerebral lesions shown by magnetic resonance imaging.

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AIM: To determine the diagnostic potential of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in neonatal seizures; to elucidate the aetiology, timing, and prognosis of the cerebral lesions detected. METHODS: Thirty one term neonates with clinical seizures underwent ultrasonography between days 1-7 (mean 2.5 days) and a high field spin-echo MRI scan on days 1-30 (mean 8.1 days), both of which were repeated at 3 months of age. Routine investigation excluded, as far as possible, infection, haematological, and metabolic-toxic causes as causes of the neonatal seizures. RESULTS: Brain abnormality was demonstrated by MRI in 68% of infants and ultrasonographically in 10%. Diffuse brain lesions (present in 29%) were associated with high mortality (58%) and morbidity (42%), whatever the aetiology. In contrast to a better short term prognosis for neonates with focal lesions where no infants died, 33% had a handicap, and the rest were normal at a mean follow up age of 2 1/2 years. Cerebral lesions were presumed to have antepartum origin in 43% of cases. Seizure aetiology was considered to be hypoxic-ischaemic in 35%, haemorrhagic in 26%, metabolic disturbances and cerebral dysgenesis in 16% and unknown in 23%. CONCLUSIONS: MRI detected a remarkably high incidence of brain lesions in neonatal seizures. Almost half of these were of prenatal origin and pathogenesis may essentially be attributed to hypoxic and/or haemodynamic causes
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition
Volume77
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)105-110
ISSN1359-2998
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ID: 32576054