Background The time-dependent changes that occur in children after acute encephalopathy are not clearly understood. Therefore, we assessed changes in brain function after suspected acute encephalopathy over time. Methods We created a database of children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at Kobe Children's Hospital because of convulsions or impaired consciousness with fever between 2002 and 2013. Clinical courses and outcomes were reviewed and patients who met the following criteria were included in the study: (1) 6 months to 15 years of age, (2) no neurological abnormality before onset, (3) treated for suspected acute encephalopathy, and (4) followed after 1 (0–2) month and 12 (10–17) months of onset. Outcomes were assessed using the Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category (PCPC) scale, with a score of 1 representing normal performance; 2, mild disability; 3, moderate disability; 4, severe disability; 5, vegetative state; and 6, brain death. Results A total of 78 children (32 male) with a median (range) age at onset of 20 (6–172) months were enrolled. Fifty-one cases scored 1 on the PCPC, 13 scored 2, three scored 3, five scored 4, one scored 5, and five cases scored 6 at discharge. Whereas seven of the 13 cases that scored a 2 on the PCPC recovered normal brain function after 12 months, none of the nine cases that scored a 3–5 on the PCPC recovered normal function. Conclusions Our findings suggest moderate to severe disability caused by acute encephalopathy had lasting consequences on brain function, whereas mild disability might result in improved function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Clinical Neurology