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BMC Pediatr . Comparison of clinical characteristics and disease burden of febrile seizures in children with and without COVID-19

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  • BMC Pediatr . Comparison of clinical characteristics and disease burden of febrile seizures in children with and without COVID-19

    BMC Pediatr


    . 2024 May 13;24(1):329.
    doi: 10.1186/s12887-024-04821-z. Comparison of clinical characteristics and disease burden of febrile seizures in children with and without COVID-19

    Zhongli Jiang 1 , Cuiyun Fang 2 , Fengyimei Peng 1 , Wei Fan 3



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Background: Febrile seizures (FS) are the most common seizure disorder in children and a common neurologic complication in children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to identify differences in clinical characteristics and disease burden between FS with and without COVID-19.
    Materials and methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of medical data at our hospital from December 2019 to July 2023, focusing on hospitalized patients under the age of 14 diagnosed with FS who underwent COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance were employed to compare the COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 groups in terms of clinical characteristics and disease burden.
    Results: A total of 514 patients were included, with 106 testing positive for COVID-19 and 408 testing negative. Patients with COVID-19 were older (34.87 ± 6.16 vs. 28.61 ± 11.35 months, P < 0.001) and had a higher proportion of males (79.2% vs. 62.3%, P = 0.001). The COVID-19 group had longer seizure durations (4.57 ± 4.38 vs. 3.22 ± 2.91 min, P = 0.006) and more complex FS (25.5% vs. 15.9%, P = 0.022). Laboratory tests showed lower lymphocyte counts in the COVID-19 group (1.87 ± 1.48 vs. 2.75 ± 1.51 × 103/µL, P < 0.001) and higher creatine kinase levels (158.49 ± 82.89 vs. 110.89 ± 56.11 U/L, P < 0.001). No significant differences were found in hospital costs, length of hospitalization, and intensive care unit admissions.
    Conclusion: Clinicians should be knowledgeable about the distinct clinical characteristics of FS in children with COVID-19. Despite distinct features, the prognosis remains favorable and does not require excessive intervention. Ongoing monitoring and research are needed to fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on FS and optimize management strategies.

    Keywords: COVID-19; Children; Clinical characteristics; Disease burden; Febrile seizures.

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