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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Epileptic Children and Its Relation to Clinical and Demographic Findings

Keywords: Children , Epilepsy , Electroencephalography (EEG) , Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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Epilepsy is an important disease with a cumulative incidence of 3% all over the life and more than half of them are started from childhood. In this study we surveyed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in epileptic children and its relation with clinical and demographic findings in order to find better diagnostic and treatment modalities for these children in the future. In this cross sectional study, we investigated consecutively all 1 to 15-year-old epileptic children who referred to the pediatric neurology outpatient clinic from 2004 to 2010. Two hundred children were enrolled for investigation. There were 85 (42.5%) girls and 115 (57.7%) boys, aged 1 to 15-year-old (7.7±4). 196 (98%) of the children had abnormal electroencephalography (EEG). Abnormal MRI was seen in 57 (28.5%) patients and consisted of brain atrophy (10%), increasing white matter signal intensity in T2-weighted images (8%), benign cysts (5%), brain tumors (4%) and vascular abnormalities (1.5%). Abnormal MRI findings had significant relation with abnormal EEG, age, positive family history for epilepsy, dysmorphic appearance, and abnormal physical exam. Considering 98% EEG abnormalities in these epileptic children, benign nature of MRI findings in most of our cases, the high price of MRI and the small minority of patients who benefit from active intervention as a result of MRI, we suggest to use EEG for confirmation of epilepsy and perform MRI for patient with abnormal physical exams, focal neurologic deficits or focal EEG abnormalities.


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