Biphasic clinical course and early white matter abnormalities may be indicators of neurological sequelae after status epilepticus in children

Neuropediatrics. 2006 Feb;37(1):32-41. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-923949.


Clinical course and serial neuroimaging findings are not fully described in children who have had neurological sequelae following status epilepticus. We found four patients who had neurological sequelae out of 42 children with status epilepticus in 2004. MRI studies were reviewed with specific attention to diffusion-weighted images (DWI) and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). Proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6, were measured in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (3 patients). The clinical course showed biphasic; initial status epilepticus and neurological exacerbation along with seizure recurrence four to five days after onset. Within three days after initial status epilepticus, CT (all patients) and MRI (2 patients) did not show any abnormalities. From four to ten days after onset, MRI demonstrated diffuse hyperintensity in the cerebral white matter on DWI and hypointensity on ADC maps in all patients. Diffuse brain atrophy progressed thereafter. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha or interleukin-6 was elevated in all patients. A biphasic clinical course may be a specific feature for neurological sequelae. The preferential white matter involvement on MRI and elevated CSF cytokines indicate that glial dysfunction may play an important role in the pathophysiology of status epilepticus-associated cerebral damage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Seizures / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Status Epilepticus / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Status Epilepticus / complications
  • Status Epilepticus / diagnosis*
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Cytokines