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      Etiology, Clinical Features, And Short-Term Outcome Of Seizures In Newborns Admitted To The University Of Gondar Hospital, Ethiopia

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          Neonatal seizures are the most common neurological dysfunction in the neonatal period. Neonatal seizure patterns and short-term neurologic outcomes, particularly in the Ethiopian context, have not been adequately studied.


          The main aim of this study is to assess the pattern, probable etiology, short-term outcomes, and determinants of neonatal seizures in the neonatal intensive care unit of Gondar University Specialized Comprehensive Hospital.


          A hospital-based prospective observational cohort study was conducted from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2018.


          Among the 117 neonates enrolled, the most common type of neonatal seizure was subtle (60.6%), followed by tonic (15.4%), and clonic (12.8%) seizures. The most common etiology for the seizure was perinatal asphyxia (PNA) with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE; 74.4%) followed by electrolyte disturbances (12.8%). In the follow-up, 23 (19.7%) died during the acute neonatal illness. The most common cause of death was PNA with HIE, accounting for 73.9% of the deaths. Among the surviving newborns, 10 (10.6%) had neurodevelopmental deficits at discharge. Being a multiparous mother (OR= 0.172; 95% CI: 0.033, 0.880), being female (OR= 0.171; 95% CI: 0.055, 0.538), and having tonic (OR= 0.164; 95% CI: 0.030, 0.885) and myoclonic seizures (OR= 0.040; 95% CI: 0.055, 0.538) were significantly associated with mortality poor short-term outcome.


          Subtle seizures were the most common seizure semiology. The most common etiology for seizure was PNA with HIE. Parity, gestational age, neonatal sex, and seizure type were determinants of short-term outcomes.

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          A scoring system for early prognostic assessment after neonatal seizures.

          The aim of this study was to devise a scoring system that could aid in predicting neurologic outcome at the onset of neonatal seizures. A total of 106 newborns who had neonatal seizures and were consecutively admitted to the NICU of the University of Parma from January 1999 through December 2004 were prospectively followed-up, and neurologic outcome was assessed at 24 months' postconceptional age. We conducted a retrospective analysis on this cohort to identify variables that were significantly related to adverse outcome and to develop a scoring system that could provide early prognostic indications. A total of 70 (66%) of 106 infants had an adverse neurologic outcome. Six variables were identified as the most important independent risk factors for adverse outcome and were used to construct a scoring system: birth weight, Apgar score at 1 minute, neurologic examination at seizure onset, cerebral ultrasound, efficacy of anticonvulsant therapy, and presence of neonatal status epilepticus. Each variable was scored from 0 to 3 to represent the range from "normal" to "severely abnormal." A total composite score was computed by addition of the raw scores of the 6 variables. This score ranged from 0 to 12. A cutoff score of > or =4 provided the greatest sensitivity and specificity. This scoring system may offer an easy, rapid, and reliable prognostic indicator of neurologic outcome after the onset of neonatal seizures. A final assessment of the validity of this score in routine clinical practice will require independent validation in other centers.
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            Risk factors for developing epilepsy after neonatal seizures.

            The objective of this study was to determine clinical and polysomnographic risk factors that might be early predictors for the development of postnatal epilepsy in a cohort of infants with seizures. The study sample included 158 infants who presented two or more clinically proven seizures. Gestational, perinatal, and polysomnographic data were obtained retrospectively. A questionnaire designed to detect patients with epilepsy in the community was prospectively given to all families, and the positive cases were reassessed for confirmation of epilepsy. Epilepsy rate after neonatal seizures was 22% within 12 months of follow-up and 33.8% within 48 months. Transient electrolytic imbalance and perinatal asphyxia were the most frequent etiologic factors associated with neonatal seizures. More than one seizure type was detected in 17.3% (n = 22) of cases and strongly associated with central nervous system infection (relative risk [RR] = 3.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.24-7.40, P = 0.02). Focal symptomatic epilepsy (P = 0.01) and syndromes not determined as focal or generalized (P = 0.04) were also associated with central nervous system infection. Abnormal polysomnographic recordings (P = 0.09) and abnormal neurologic examination on discharge (P < 0.01) were correlated with postnatal epilepsy. No differences were observed between premature and term infants concerning outcome. Neonatal seizures were associated with a high incidence of postnatal epilepsy in the cohort, including epileptic syndromes with catastrophic evolution. Abnormal neurologic examination on discharge was a good predictor of an unfavorable outcome and abnormal polysomnographic recording a moderate predictor.
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              Neonatal seizures.

               V M MOSLEY (2010)

                Author and article information

                Pediatric Health Med Ther
                Pediatric Health Med Ther
                Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics
                18 October 2019
                : 10
                : 107-113
                [1 ]Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Gondar, College of Medicine and Health Sciences , Gondar, Ethiopia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ashenafi Tazebew Amare Department of Pediatrics and Child Health , P.O. Box 196, Bekafa Street, Gondar, EthiopiaTel + 251-913-16-47-22 Email
                © 2019 Amare and Amare.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Tables: 7, References: 22, Pages: 7
                Original Research


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