The Role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Follow-Up of Children With Convulsive Status Epilepticus

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Apr;54(4):328-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.04215.x. Epub 2012 Jan 23.


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the yield of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after an episode of childhood convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) and to identify the clinical predictors of an abnormal brain scan.

Method: Children were recruited following an episode of CSE from an established clinical network in north London. Eighty children (age range 1mo-16y; 39 males; 41 females) were enrolled and seen for clinical assessment and brain MRI within 13 weeks of suffering from an episode of CSE. Scans were reviewed by two neuroradiologists and classified as normal (normal/normal-variant) or abnormal (minor/major abnormality). Factors predictive of an abnormal scan were investigated using logistic regression.

Results: Eighty children were recruited at a mean of 31.8 days (5-90d) after suffering from CSE. Structural abnormalities were found in 31%. Abnormal neurological examination at assessment (odds ratio [OR] 190.46), CSE that was not a prolonged febrile seizure (OR 77.12), and a continuous rather than an intermittent seizure (OR 29.98) were all predictive of an abnormal scan. No children with previous neuroimaging had new findings that altered their clinical management.

Interpretation: Brain MRI should be considered for all children with a history of CSE who have not previously undergone MRI, especially those with non-prolonged febrile seizure CSE, those with persisting neurological abnormalities 2 to 13 weeks after CSE, and those with continuous CSE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Status Epilepticus / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed