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BMC Pediatrics (1)
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Kneen, Rachel (2)
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Suboptimal management of central nervous system infections in children: a multi-centre retrospective study
Michael, Benedict D
We aimed to audit the regional management of central nervous system (CNS) infection in children.
The study was undertaken in five district general hospitals and one tertiary paediatric hospital in the Mersey region of the UK. Children admitted to hospital with a suspected CNS infection over a three month period were identified. Children were aged between 4 weeks and 16 years old. Details were recorded from the case notes and electronic records. We measured the appropriateness of management pathways as outlined by national and local guidelines.
Sixty-five children were identified with a median age of 6 months (range 1 month to 15 years). Ten had a CNS infection: 4 aseptic meningitis, 3 purulent meningitis, 3 encephalitis [2 with herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1]. A lumbar puncture (LP) was attempted in 50 (77%) cases but only 43 had cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) available for analysis. Of these 24 (57%) had a complete standard set of tests performed. Fifty eight (89%) received a third generation cephalosporin. Seventeen (26%) also received aciclovir with no obvious indication in 9 (53%). Only 11 (65%) of those receiving aciclovir had CSF herpes virus PCR. Seventeen had cranial imaging and it was the first management step in 14. Treatment lengths of both antibiotics and aciclovir were highly variable: one child with HSV encephalitis was only treated with aciclovir for 7 days.
The clinical management of children with suspected CNS infections across the Mersey region is heterogeneous and often sub-optimal, particularly for the investigation and treatment of viral encephalitis. National guidelines for the management of viral encephalitis are needed.
Encephalitis; Meningitis; Central nervous system infection; Aciclovir; Lumbar puncture
Anterior Spinal Artery Syndrome in a Girl With Down Syndrome: Case Report and Literature Review
The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Anterior spinal artery syndrome is an extremely rare cause of acute ischemic cord infarction in children. It is caused by hypoperfusion of the anterior spinal artery, leading to ischemia in the anterior two thirds of the spinal cord. The presentation is usually with an acute and painful myelopathy with impaired bladder and bowel control. Pain and temperature sensation below the lesion are lost, whereas vibration and position sense is intact because of the preservation of the posterior columns.
A 16-year-old girl with Down syndrome presented with urinary retention and acute complete flaccid paralysis of the legs with absent deep tendon and abdominal reflexes. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a signal abnormality in the anterior half of the thoracic cord from T5 to T12, consistent with anterior spinal artery infarction.
Pediatricians should consider anterior spinal artery syndrome in the child who presents with acute, painful myelopathy. We summarize the etiology, neurological findings and outcomes of 19 children found in the literature with anterior spinal artery syndrome.
Anterior spinal artery syndrome; Myelopathy, acute; Spinal cord infarction; Down syndrome; Rehabilitation; Paralysis; Spasticity
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