A Study on Clinico-Biochemical Profile of Neonatal Seizure

Dinesh Das, Sanjib Kumar Debbarma


Background: Seizure is the most frequent sign of neurologic dysfunction in the neonate. Biochemical disturbances occur frequently in neonatal seizures either as an underlying cause or as associated abnormalities. In their presence, it is difficult to control seizures and there is a risk of further brain damage. Early recognition and treatment of biochemical disturbances are essential for optimal management and satisfactory long-term outcome. The aims were to study the biochemical abnormalities in neonatal seizures and to describe the clinical presentation, time of onset and its relation to etiology of neonatal seizures.

Methods: The present study included 115 neonates presenting with seizures admitted to neonatal unit, in a teaching institute, Agartala, Tripura, India during the period of 1.5 years from November 2013 to April 2015. Detailed antenatal, natal and postnatal history was taken and examination of baby was done. Then, relevant investigations including biochemical parameters were done and etiology of neonatal seizures and their associated biochemical abnormalities were diagnosed.

Results: In the present study, out of 115 neonates studied, 105 were full-term, of which 94 (81.7%) were AGA and 11 (9.6%) were SGA, nine (7.8%) were preterm and one (0.9%) was post-term babies. One hundred and thirteen (98.3%) were hospital deliveries and 104 (90.4%) were spontaneous vaginal deliveries. Seventy-five (65.2%) were with birth weight > 2.5 kg. In our study, 82 (80%) cases had onset of seizures within first 3 days. The highest number is seen on first day of life (66, 57.4%). Birth asphyxia was the cause in 92.1% of neonates who developed seizures on first day of life. Subtle seizures were the most common type of seizures in our study (49, 42.6%). Birth asphyxia was the most common cause of neonatal seizures in our study (64, 56%), followed by neonatal meningitis (24, 21%) and metabolic disorders (13, 11%). The most common biochemical abnormality detected in neonatal seizures in our study was hyponatremia (26, 65%), of which 21 (72.4%) were due to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), and the rest were due to neonatal meningitis (5, 55.6%). In metabolic seizures, hypoglycemia (66.7%) was common, and more so in low birth weight babies (55%). Incidence of hypomagnesemia with hypocalcemia occurred in two (1.73%) cases.

Conclusions: The most common etiology of neonatal seizures is HIE and onset is during first 3 days of life. Hyponatremia is the most common biochemical abnormality associated with non-metabolic seizures, mainly HIE. Hypoglycemia is a more common metabolic disorder, more so in low birth weight. Incidence of hypomagnesemia with hypocalcemia is low but recognition of such abnormality has important therapeutic implications.

J Neurol Res. 2016;6(5-6):95-101
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jnr404w



Neonatal seizures; Birth asphyxia; Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; Hyponatremia; Hypoglycemia; Hypomagnesemia with hypocalcemia

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