Rotavirus gastroenteritis and seizures in young children

Pediatr Neurol. 2010 Jun;42(6):404-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2010.03.002.


In this retrospective cohort study, a clinical and administrative database of children hospitalized at Primary Children's Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2006, was used to identify those with laboratory-confirmed rotavirus infections and at least one seizure. In all, 59 children were identified, 34 of whom (58%) had no other potential medical explanation for their seizures. Of these 34 children, 23 (68%) were afebrile at seizure onset and 11 were febrile. Electroencephalography was performed for 21 of the 34 children (62%); all findings were normal, except for a child with slowing related to cerebral edema. Twenty-six of the 34 children (76%) had neuroimaging studies; all findings were normal, except for the child with cerebral edema and a child with an incidental arachnoid cyst. Twenty of the 34 children (59%) had a lumbar puncture; again, all findings were normal. All 34 children recovered uneventfully, including the 6 children who spent at least 1 day in an intensive care unit. Follow-up data on 27 of these children identified 2 children (7%) who required chronic anticonvulsant therapy. The results indicate that seizures associated with rotavirus infection are a relatively benign neurologic condition in young children. With few exceptions, neurodiagnostic studies do not influence management or outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Gastroenteritis / complications*
  • Gastroenteritis / virology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotavirus Infections / complications*
  • Seizures / complications*
  • Seizures / virology
  • Spinal Puncture
  • Utah