Prevalence and predictors of adverse outcomes in neonatal seizures

Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Neonatal seizures are significant cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity. Current study was planned to study prevalence of adverse outcomes in neonatal seizures and identify its predictors. METHODS: This observational descriptive study was carried out on 220 neonates with seizures. Neonates who succumbed to illness/ death before investigations, or whose maternal records were incomplete were excluded. Blood sugar, serum calcium, serum electrolytes, and USG skull were done in all patients. CT scan, MRI and inborn errors of metabolism profile were done as and when indicated. Adverse outcomes were defined as death, phenobarbitone non responders, or abnormal examination at discharge. Antenatal, perinatal and neonatal predictors of adverse outcomes in neonatal seizures were evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 220 neonates with seizures 76(34.5%) had adverse outcomes. Very low birth weight babies (≤1500 gm) [OR 1.27(CI 0.57–2.84)], microcephaly [OR 5.93 (CI 0.55–64.41)], Apgar score≤3 at 5 minutes [OR 11.28(CI 14.18–30.45)], seizure onset within 24 hours [OR 5.99(CI 12.43–14.78)], meningitis [OR 2.63(CI 0.08–6.39)], septicemia [OR1.22(CI 0.45–3.31)] and abnormal cranial USG [OR 7.95(CI 12.61–24.22)] were significant predictors of adverse outcomes in neonates with seizures. CONCLUSION: Prematurity, very low birth weight, birth asphyxia, meningitis, septicemia and abnormal USG could predict adverse outcomes in neonatal seizures. Improved antenatal and neonatal clinical practices may help reduce adverse outcomes in these patients.

*Corresponding Author: 

 Prerna Batra, MD, Department of Pediatrics University College of Medical sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi-110095, India. Tel.: +91 9958672759; E-mail: