The role of early MR in the evaluation of the term infant with seizures

N. K. Rollins, M. C. Morriss, D. Evans, J. M. Perlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: To define the role of MR in evaluating term neonates with seizures, the most common clinical manifestation of cerebral injury in neonates. METHODS: Fifteen term infants with seizures underwent MR imaging. The presence and pattern of MR findings were compared with clinical markers of perinatal distress, cause of cerebral injury, and short-term neurologic outcome. RESULTS: Seizures were caused by hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in three patients, bacterial meningitis in three, and prenatal cocaine exposure in one. Nine patients had no identifiable risk factors. By MR, five patients had focal ischemic injury of the cerebral hemispheres and/or basal ganglia and brain stem. Six patients had diffuse cerebral edema: of these, five had basal ganglia edema; one had brain stem edema. One patient had superior sagittal sinus thrombosis with venous infarcts. Three patients had normal MR studies. There was no correlation between markers of perinatal distress, risk factors for seizures, and presence or pattern of MR findings. There was some correlation between MR findings of diffuse cerebral injury and neurologic outcome, and between MR findings of basal ganglia and brain stem abnormalities and neurologic outcome; these findings correlated with spasticity and hemiplegia at 6 to 24 months follow-up. CONCLUSION: The presence or pattern of MR findings does not appear to correlate with clinical signs of perinatal distress or presumed causes of perinatal cerebral injury. Further investigation is needed to identify prospectively neonates with seizures who are at risk for significant neurologic morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology

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