Objective: To determine the frequency of biochemical abnormalities in developmentally normal children presenting with new onset seizures
Methodology: This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out in 131 children presenting in Pediatrics emergency department, Liaquat National Hospital from March 1, to September 30, 2015. Children with very first episode of seizure, aged >1month to less than or equal to 12 years with either active seizures or with history of seizure, as witnessed by the care taker were included in the study. Serum glucose, calcium and magnesium were analyzed and frequency of biochemical abnormalities was determined.
Results: Abnormal serum glucose was observed in 4.5% children and abnormal calcium and magnesium were seen in 18.3% and 2.2% cases, respectively. An overall biochemical abnormality (serum glucose, calcium and magnesium) in children with new onset seizures was observed in 27 (20.6%) children. Both serum glucose and calcium were abnormal in 3(2.2%) cases and both serum calcium and magnesium were abnormal in 3(2.2%) cases.
Conclusion: The diagnosis of biochemical abnormalities is imperative because it alters the therapeutic management of these patients. These tests could be particularly beneficial in children under 1 year, since signs of serum chemistry disturbances are non-specific or are even absent at this age. In older children, these tests should be judiciously advised as guided by history and examination.
Key words: Seizures, biochemical abnormalities, serum glucose, calcium, magnesium.