The many etiologies of neonatal hypocalcemic seizures

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2015 Mar;31(3):197-201. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000380.


Seizures during the neonatal period have a broad differential diagnosis. Unlike in developing countries where hypovitaminosis D and hypocalcemia constitutes a major cause of infantile seizures, the number of neonatal seizures attributed to hypocalcemia in developed countries has decreased dramatically due to the improvement of infant formulas and vitamin D supplementation. In these countries, most infants that present with hypocalcemic seizures have underlying endocrinological etiologies rather than dietary insufficiencies. Here, we describe 3 cases of neonatal seizures due to hypocalcemia. Although the symptoms and calcium concentrations at presentation were similar in all 3 cases, the course of the disease and the final diagnosis for each were distinct. The cases are presented along with a brief review of the pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and treatment of neonatal hypocalcemia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / blood*
  • Calcium Gluconate / administration & dosage*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypocalcemia / blood
  • Hypocalcemia / complications*
  • Hypocalcemia / drug therapy
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Seizures / drug therapy
  • Seizures / etiology*


  • Calcium Gluconate
  • Calcium