Kaputu-Kalala-Malu C, Mukeba Kahamba D, Ntumba-Tshitenge O, Mafuta Musalu E, Ndahindwa V, Okitundu Luwa E-Andjafono D, Kayembe Kalula T, Mukendi Kavulu Mayamba R, Misson JP

Med Sante Trop. 2015 Jun 23. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID: 26102636 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]


There is a paucity of epidemiologic studies of prolonged seizures (persisting for more than 5 minutes) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in Rwanda. We sought to analyze the clinical presentation, causes, pharmacologic management, and short-term course of these seizures. We enrolled 436 children, aged five months to ten years, who presented with prolonged seizures at the pediatric emergency departments of nine hospitals. Overall, 57.8% of the children were younger than three years; 7% had pre-existing psychomotor delay. Although 21% had had previous seizures, only 13% were receiving antiepileptic therapy. On presentation, 63.5% of the patients had fever and 26% were in status epilepticus. The seizures were focal in 21% of the cases. Malaria was the most common cause, involving 63% of the cases. The recurrence rate was 38%, and the mortality rate 4%. Prolonged seizures in DRC and Rwanda are frequently associated with fever, most commonly caused by malaria. The immediate use of long-acting antiepileptic drug could improve their outcomes.


children; prolonged seizures; sub-Saharan Africa

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