Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018 December, 246(4)

Neonatal Seizures in Iraq: Cause and Outcome


1Department of Pediatrics, Al-Kindy College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
2Department of Pediatrics, Al-Elwiyah Pediatric Teaching Hospital, Al-Rusafa Health Directorate, Ministry of Health, Baghdad, Iraq

During a daily neonatology practice, seizures are a continuous challenge as a common neurological disease with a wide range of underlying etiologies, and considerable risks of morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to clarify the rate, etiological factors and outcomes of neonatal seizures, and a possible foresight of neonatal death in Iraq. A prospective cohort study was conducted in neonates with seizures admitted to 3 major neonatology centers in Baghdad, Iraq, from 1st of December 2017 till the end of May 2018. Both term and preterm neonates affected by seizures were recruited with a total number of 203 patients. Perinatal asphyxia (n = 81; 39.90%), infection (n = 77; 37.93%), and metabolic abnormalities (n = 52; 25.62%) were most common causes for seizures. Death occurred in 66 neonates (32.51%), with higher mortality rates found in preterm neonates. Six adverse prognostic indicators were shown to be significant: positive pressure resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, perinatal asphyxia, infection, gestational age (preterm babies), and low birth weight (< 2,500 g). Neonatal seizures may be the first manifestation of neurological insults, and they are most commonly caused by perinatal asphyxia, followed by infection, and metabolic disturbances. Prevention of neonatal seizures is much more important than the treatment of them for the reduction of neonatal mortality. The effective strategies should therefore be proper medical care and management for mothers and neonates before, during and after delivery to prevent neonatal infections, perinatal asphyxia, low birth weight, prematurity, metabolic abnormalities, and other risk factors of neonatal seizures.

Key words —— etiology; Iraq; mortality prediction; neonatal fit; outcomes


Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018, 246, 245-249

Correspondence: Hayder Al-Momen, Department of Pediatrics, Al-Kindy College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Al-Nahda Square, Baghdad 01, Iraq.