Neurodevelopmental outcome in full-term newborns with refractory neonatal seizures

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Abstract

Aim:

This retrospective study describes the prognosis of full-term newborns with refractory neonatal seizures, comparing the need for treatment with two versus three or more antiepileptic drugs.

Methods:

We reviewed our database (January 2002–December 2007) to include newborns with refractory neonatal seizures and abnormal electroencephalogram. Group A consisted of 17 newborns with two antiepileptic drugs. Group B consisted of 29 newborns with three or more antiepileptic drugs. Outcome was determined at 2 years of age using the Dutch Bayley Scales of Infant Development or a neurodevelopmental classification scheme.

Results:

Group A and group B were comparable regarding to a variety of demographic and aetiologic factors. Thirteen newborns died before 2 years of age and one was lost to follow-up. Normal development at 2 years of age was found in 50% and 5% for group A and B, respectively. Severe neurodevelopmental delay at 2 years of age was found in 30% and 68% for group A and B, respectively.

Conclusion:

The number of antiepileptic drugs probably reflects increased seizure burden and is – in that way – related to poor outcome. This may be useful information for early prediction of adverse neurological outcome in the first days of life.

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