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Early posttraumatic seizures in non-accidental head injury: relation to outcome

  • Karen M Barlow (a1), Jacqui J Spowart (a1) and Robert A Minns (a1)


To document the characteristics of early posttraumatic seizures (EPTS) in non-accidental head injury (NAHI), and examine their relation with outcome, a retrospective study was carried out. All children with NAHI admitted to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh since 1981 were identified. The characteristics of EPTS, EEG, and outcome were noted. Forty-four cases were identified. The average age of children at presentation was 5.9 months. Thirty-two of these children had EPTS. The median length of follow-up was 3.0 years. The mortality rate was six in 44 (14%). The neurodevelopmental outcome correlated significantly with the presence and severity of EPTS (Tau = 0.317, p=0.017). Of survivors, 22% developed late posttraumatic epilepsy, the outcome in those with epilepsy was significantly worse than those without (p<0.0001). It was concluded that the severity of the primary brain injury dictates the severity of the EPTS and neurodevelopmental status at follow-up.


Corresponding author

Department of Paediatric Neurosciences, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, 9 Sciences Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1LF Scotland. E-mail:


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