Acute symptomatic seizure disorders in young children - A population study in southern Taiwan

Chao Ching Huang, Ying Chao Chang, Shan Tair Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To determine the incidence, etiology, and prognosis of acute symptomatic seizures in children by age 3 years. Methods: In a population- based birth cohort study of all 15,209 neonatal survivors born in Tainan City between October 1989 and December 1991, parents or caretakers of 13,493 children aged 3 years were surveyed by telephone regarding any provoked convulsive disorder, particularly acute symptomatic seizure, in the children; medical records were reviewed. Results: Sixty-three children (39 boys, 24 girls) had acute symptomatic seizures (incidence 0.46 in 100). The leading causes of acute symptomatic seizures were acute gastroenteritis, encephalitis/encephalopathy, and bacterial meningitis. Age-specific incidence was highest in the group aged 1-12 months. Intracranial hemorrhage, bacterial meningitis, and metabolic disturbance were the major causes of acute symptomatic seizures in children aged 1-12 months. Acute gastroenteritis, encephalitis/encephalopathy, and bacterial meningitis accounted for 85% of the causes in children aged 13-24 months, and gastroenteritis and encephalitis/encephalopathy were the predominant causes in those aged 25-36 months. By age 5 years, subsequent unprovoked seizures developed in 14% of the survivors of acute symptomatic seizures. Conclusions: Many acute symptomatic seizures are preventable. The risk of subsequent unprovoked seizures is determined by underlying precipitating factors. Public education regarding the danger of shaken-baby syndrome and excessive water supplement, as well as and nationwide vaccination against bacterial meningitis in young children, is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-964
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute symptomatic seizure
  • Children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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