Seizures in a Non-communicative Child

Anna Tielsch-Goddard, MSN, CPNP-PC


J Pediatr Health Care. 2010;24(4):270-274. 

In This Article

Diagnostic Testing

A complete blood cell count with differential, serum electrolytes (including glucose, calcium, and magnesium), blood lactate and pyruvate, blood ammonia, urinalysis, and stool hemoccult with culture were sent to identify a possible underlying etiology. Laboratory tests showed mild leukocytosis of 15.5 × 109/L (normal, 4.4-10.8 × 109/L). Other laboratory findings were within normal limits.

Because of this patient's recent travel to Mexico, a stool sample for hemoccult and ova and parasites was ordered. The sample was negative for mucosa damage, heme, and Giardia antigen. Because of the new onset of seizures, an electroencephalogram to evaluate epileptic activity and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for brain imaging were obtained. The electroencephalogram showed high amplitude waves and an erratic pattern of electrical activity lasting for several minutes in the frontal and parietal regions of the brain, which indicates abnormal activity and is diagnostic for generalized grand-mal seizure activity. The MRI scan showed viable cystic lesions in the left frontal and parietal lobes with a small hyper-dense nodule, representing the scolex of a tapeworm.


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