To identify risk factors for the development of epilepsy after pediatric stroke.
Retrospective analysis of hospital charts of 93 children and adolescents with post-neonatal non-traumatic stroke and a minimum follow-up of two years. Seizures during the first 48 h after onset of stroke symptoms were defined as "early seizures"; when two or more seizures occurred after this period, the patient was classified as "epileptic".
Early seizures, young age at stroke and MRI evidence of cortical involvement were observed more frequently in the children who developed epilepsy. These factors were, however, significantly interrelated; a stepwise multiple regression analysis in 46/93 patients with complete datasets identified only the occurrence of early seizures as a significant risk factor: 15/19 (79%) children with early seizures developed epilepsy, as opposed to only 7/53 (13%) without early seizures.
Children with stroke who show seizures during the first 48 h after onset of stroke symptoms have a high risk to develop post-stroke epilepsy, whereas in children without early seizures, post-stroke epilepsy is rare.
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