Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Neuroimaging findings in pediatric patients with seizure from an institution in Enugu

CA Ndubuisi, WC Mezue, SC Ohaegbulam, MC Chikani, M Ekuma, E Onyia


Background: Pediatric seizures in developing countries are often poorly investigated and consequently poorly managed. Sociocultural misconceptions, financial difficulties, and lack of facilities are often blamed. This study studies the structural intracranial abnormalities associated with pediatric seizures and the proportion of these structural lesions that may benefit from surgery.

Methods: Prospective study of 311 pediatric patients referred with seizure disorders, for computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging to the Memfys Hospital for Neurosurgery, Enugu, between 2003 and 2014. All patients had contrast studies. Angiography was done for selected cases. Demography, imaging findings, and potential benefits of surgery were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Result: Analysis of 311 patients representing 21% of all pediatric head scans. Male to female ratio was 1.2:1.0. Definite structural lesion was identified in 53.4%. Lesions that may benefit from surgery were identified in 27.7% of all cases representing 51.8% of abnormal scan findings. Under.5 had the least scan rate of 25.1% compared with 42.4% in the adolescents. Although the older age groups had more abnormal findings, the proportion of abnormal to normal scan findings was the highest (1.7:1.0) in the under.5. Under.5 age group had more lesions that may benefit from surgery (P = 0.001). Intracranial tumor was diagnosed in 10.6%, vascular abnormalities (10.3%), hydrocephalus (5.8%), brain abscess (2.9%), and chronic subdural hematoma (2.6%) (P = 0.001).

Conclusion: Structural lesions are common and diverse in pediatric seizures. Significant proportion of these patients may benefit from surgery, and these benefits override financial and sociocultural  considerations.

Key words: Convulsion, imaging, pediatrics, surgery
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