Epilepsy in children with delayed presentation of perinatal stroke

Karima C. Fitzgerald, Linda S. Williams, Bhuwan P. Garg, Meredith R. Golomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


A subgroup of children with perinatal stroke do not present clinically until after the perinatal period. Detailed epilepsy outcomes in these children have not been well studied. A retrospective cohort study of 45 children with delayed presentation of perinatal stroke identified by review of pediatric stroke clinic records, physician referral, and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth edition, code searches of hospital records, was performed at a tertiary pediatric hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. A modified version of the Engel scale was used to grade epilepsy outcomes. The Χ2 test, Fisher's exact test, and relative risks were calculated to examine the association of epilepsy at time of last follow-up with initial presentation with seizures, infantile spasms, radiographic findings, and initial abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG). These tests were also used to examine the association of epilepsy with cognitive or motor disability and the association of initial abnormal EEG with motor disability. Patients presented with hemiparesis (40; 89%), seizures (4; 9%), or headaches (1; 2%). All had unilateral infarcts on cranial imaging. Four children (9%) had infantile spasms, 2 at presentation and 2 later. Nineteen children received at least 1 EEG for suspicious spells or frank seizures; initial EEG was abnormal in 16 patients (84%). At last follow-up, 17 patients (38%) had epilepsy, which was severe in 4 (24% of those with epilepsy). Initial presentation with seizures (relative risk = 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.0-4.9) and infantile spasms (relative risk = 3.2; confidence interval, 2.0-4.9) were associated with epilepsy at last follow-up. Infantile spasms were also associated with moderate-to-severe epilepsy at last follow-up (relative risk = 10.3; confidence interval, 1.9-54.4). Epilepsy at last follow-up was associated with cognitive disability (P = .05). Initial abnormal EEG was not associated with cerebral palsy (P = .30). Epilepsy is frequent in children with delayed presentation of perinatal stroke and is associated with initial presentation with seizures and infantile spasms at any point in time. Cognitive disability often accompanies epilepsy in these children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1274-1280
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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