Convulsions in Childhood Shigellosis: Clinical and Laboratory Features in 153 Children

Shai Ashkenazi, Gabriel Dinari, Alexander Zevulunov, Menachem Nitzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We studied 153 children who experienced convulsions associated with shigellosis. The male-female ratio was 1.2:1.0. Thirty-six children had a previous history of febrile convulsions, and 31 children had a family history of convulsive disorder. Most of the children were 0.5 to 3 years of age, although 49 were older than 3 years of age and 20 were older than 5 years of age. All children were febrile; in 75% of the children, the temperature was over 39°C. The majority of the children had generalized, self-limited convulsions, which lasted less than ten minutes. In 30 children the seizures were categorized as complex; ten of them had recurrent episodes, although none had any residual neurologic deficit. The total leukocyte count was usually within normal limits, but the differential count characteristically showed a marked increase in the number of band forms. Hypocalcemia was observed in four patients; hyponatremia in 11 patients; and hypernatremia in one patient. Electroencephalographic studies were performed in ten children, and lumbar punctures were performed in 34 children; both procedures usually yielded normal results. Shigella sonnei was isolated from 69% of the children; Shigella flexneri from 25%; Shigella boydii from 5%; and Shigella dysenterlae from 1%. Due to the benign and self-limited nature of most of the convulsions, neither diagnostic procedures, nor drug therapy, are usually necessary. These measures should, however, be considered in complicated cases characterized by focal or prolonged seizures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-210
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Diseases of Children
Volume141
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1987

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