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Journal of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology

Print version ISSN 1676-2649


MORAES, Jacqueline Dompsin de et al. Electroencephalografic abnormalities as prognostic factor in acute coma in non-epileptic children. J. epilepsy clin. neurophysiol. [online]. 2011, vol.17, n.3, pp.87-92. ISSN 1676-2649.

Introduction: Although the neurological examination remains the main parameter for assessment of the brain impairment in many pediatric ICU in Brazil, the EEG is an easy exam to perform, with low costs and offers no significant risk to the patient. Our aim was to evaluate the presence of specific and non specific abnormalities and epileptogenic paroxysms in the EEGs of children in coma and to relate these findings with the risk of death. Methods: retrospective study. Results: 36 EEGs were performed in 18 children. 10 were male (55.6%), aged between two months and 15.5 years (median: 3.2±4.7 years). Different causes for the coma state were described. All EEGs were abnormal and the slowing and voltage depression patterns were the most common abnormalities observed. Only one test showed asymmetry between the cerebral hemispheres. 30.6% of the patients had focal, multifocal or generalized epileptogenic paroxysms on the EEGs. The mortality rate was 38.9%. Analyzing the 19 EEGs obtained from seven children who died during the ICU stay, 21.1% had epileptogenic paroxysms. Conclusion: In spite of the fact that our sample is relatively small, we infer that epileptogenic paroxysms in the EEGs of non-epileptic children in coma is relatively common, even not observing a consistent association of this finding with high risk of death.

Keywords : electroencephalogram; coma; childhood.

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