Neonatal Seizure: Etiology and Type

A.R. Moayedi, S. Zakeri, F. Moayedi




Neonates, for many reasons, are at particular risk for the development of seizures, which are a strong predictor of later morbidity and mortality in infants.

We undertook this study to determine the incidence, etiologic distribution and neonatal seizure type in neonates with hospital admission over a period of 4 years.

Materials and Methods

This, a retrospective study of newborns admitted in hospital with a diagnosis of neonatal seizures, was conducted over a 4 year period between March 2001 and March 2005.

Data were obtained from hospital records was analyzed using the Chi-square test.


Of 4541 newborns, admitted to hospital, during the study period, seizures occurred in 110 neonates. The incidence of neonatal seizures was 2.4%; the causes of neonatal seizure were Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) - 36.4%, infections -19.1%, metabolic abnormalities - 7.3%, Intra Cranial Hemorrhage (ICH) - 2.7%, structural disorders - 1.8% and in 32.7% of cases, the cause was unknown.

Subtle seizures (39.1%) were the most common type of seizures; and the other types were myoclonic (17.3%), clonic (10.0%), Tonic (7.3%), Generalized Tonic Clonic Seizures (GTCS) (12.7%) and in 13.6% of cases the type of seizure was not mentioned. Mortality rate was 13.6%.


Health care workers and parents need to be made aware of subtle seizures and the importance of timely and appropriate treatment to decrease any further complications.


Neonatal seizure, incidence, type, etiology.

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