Parieto-occipital encephalomalacia in children; clinical and electrophysiological features of twenty-seven cases

J Pediatr Neurosci. 2015 Apr-Jun;10(2):103-7. doi: 10.4103/1817-1745.159187.


Context: Brain injuries occurring at a particular time may cause damages in well-defined regions of brain. Perinatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and hypoglycemia are some of the most common types of brain injuries. Neonatal hypoglycemia can cause abnormal myelination in parietal and occipital lobes resulting in parieto-occipital encephalomalacia. There is a small number of studies about clinical and electroencephalographic (EEG) features of children with parieto-occipital encephalomalacia. They might have important neurologic sequelae such as cortical visual loss, seizures, and psychomotor retardation.

Aims: We aimed to evaluate the causes of parieto-occipital encephalomalacia and evaluate the clinical and electrophysiological features of children with parieto-occipital encephalomalacia.

Settings and design: We evaluated clinical features and EEGs of 27 children with parieto-occipital encephalomalacia.

Statistical analysis used: Descriptive statistics were used.

Results: Hospitalization during the neonatal period was the most common cause (88.9%) of parieto-occipital brain injury. Eleven patients (40.7%) had a history of neonatal hypoglycemia. Twenty-three patients (85.2%) had epilepsy and nine of the epileptic patients (39%) had refractory seizures. Most of the patients had bilateral (50%) epileptic discharges originating from temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes (56.2%). However, some patients had frontal sharp waves and some had continuous spike and wave discharges during sleep. Visual abnormalities were evident in 15 (55.6%) patients. Twenty-two (81.5%) had psychomotor retardation. Fine motor skills, social contact and language development were impaired more than gross motor skills.

Conclusions: In our study, most of the patients with parieto-occipital encephalomalacia had an eventful perinatal history. Epilepsy, psychomotor retardation, and visual problems were common neurologic complications.

Keywords: Children; epilepsy; parieto-occipital encephalomalacia.