Hyponatremic seizures in infancy: association with retinal hemorrhages and physical child abuse?

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2000 Dec;16(6):432-4. doi: 10.1097/00006565-200012000-00016.


We present two cases of infants with hyponatremic seizures who had an unexpected finding of retinal hemorrhages. A review of the literature found no prior association between hyponatremic seizures and retinal hemorrhages. The retinal hemorrhages found in the first patient were a result of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) and associated with long bone fractures and a subdural hematoma. The second patient had retinal hemorrhages and cerebral edema, presumed to be a result of SBS. We suggest that children who become hyponatremic owing to neglect, lack of education, or intentional water poisoning may be at risk for other forms of child abuse. Additional research needs to be done to further elucidate the relationship between hyponatremic seizures and child abuse.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child Abuse*
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyponatremia / complications*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Seizures / complications*
  • Seizures / etiology