(HealthDay News) – Acute symptomatic seizures occur in about half of pediatric patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and are often a presenting symptom, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in JAMA Neurology.

Lauren A. Beslow, MD, from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study from March 1, 2007–January 1, 2012 to examine the incidence of and risk factors for seizures and epilepsy in 73 children with spontaneous ICH from three pediatric hospitals.

The researchers found that acute symptomatic seizures occurred in 48% of patients, and were a presenting symptom of ICH for 60% of perinatal patients and 36% of childhood subjects. In seven children, acute symptomatic seizures occurred after presentation. Of those who had continuous electroencephalogram monitoring, 28%  had electrographic-only seizures. The rate of remote symptomatic seizure-free survival was 82% at one year and 67% at two years, while the epilepsy-free survival rate was 96% at one year and 87% at two years. Increased intracranial pressure necessitating acute intervention was identified as a risk factor for seizures after presentation, remote symptomatic seizures, and epilepsy.

“This study provides clinicians with useful information for counseling parents of pediatric patients with ICH who present in the perinatal and childhood periods regarding the risk for remote seizures and epilepsy,” the authors write.

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