Selected abstracts:

1.                  Covanis A.  Panayiotopoulos syndrome: a benign childhood autonomic epilepsy frequently imitating encephalitis, syncope, migraine, sleep disorder, or gastroenteritis. Pediatrics. 2006 Oct;118(4):e1237-43.

Neurology Department, Agia Sophia Children's Hospital, Thivon and Levadias, Goudi, 11527 Athens, Greece.

BACKGROUND: Panayiotopoulos syndrome is a common idiopathic childhood-specific seizure disorder formally recognized by the International League Against Epilepsy. An expert consensus has defined Panayiotopoulos syndrome as "a benign age-related focal seizure disorder occurring in early and mid-childhood. It is characterized by seizures, often prolonged, with predominantly autonomic symptoms, and by an EEG [electroencephalogram] that shows shifting and/or multiple foci, often with occipital predominance." OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this review is to provide guidance for appropriate diagnosis and management of Panayiotopoulos syndrome. CLINICAL FEATURES: Autonomic epileptic seizures and autonomic status epilepticus are the cardinal manifestations of Panayiotopoulos syndrome. Autonomic seizures in Panayiotopoulos syndrome consist of episodes of disturbed autonomic function with emesis as the predominant symptom. Other autonomic manifestations include pallor (or, less often, flushing or cyanosis), mydriasis (or, less often, miosis), cardiorespiratory and thermoregulatory alterations, incontinence of urine and/or feces, hypersalivation, and modifications of intestinal motility. In approximately one fifth of the seizures the child becomes unresponsive and flaccid (ictal syncope) before or often without convulsions. Cardiorespiratory arrest is exceptional. More-conventional seizure symptoms often appear after the onset of autonomic manifestations. The child, who was initially fully conscious, becomes confused and unresponsive. Eyes turn to one side or gaze widely open. Only half of the seizures end with brief hemiconvulsions or generalized convulsions. Convulsive status epilepticus is extremely rare. Autonomic symptoms may be the only features of the seizures. Half of the seizures in Panayiotopoulos syndrome last for >30 minutes, thus constituting autonomic status epilepticus, which is the more common nonconvulsive status epilepticus in normal children. Two thirds of seizures occur during sleep. EPIDEMIOLOGY: Panayiotopoulos syndrome probably affects 13% of children aged 3 to 6 years who have had 1 or more afebrile seizures and 6% of such children in the 1- to 15-year age group. DIAGNOSTIC TESTS: An electroencephalogram is the only investigation with abnormal results, usually showing multiple spikes in various brain locations. PATHOPHYSIOLOGY: Panayiotopoulos syndrome is probably the early-onset and Rolandic epilepsy the late-onset phenotype of a maturation-related benign childhood seizure-susceptibility syndrome. Ictal epileptic discharges in Panayiotopoulos syndrome, irrespective of their location at onset, activate autonomic disturbances and emesis, to which children are particularly vulnerable. The symptoms/sequence of autonomic seizures and autonomic status epilepticus in Panayiotopoulos syndrome are specific to childhood, and they do not occur in adults. PROGNOSIS: Panayiotopoulos syndrome is remarkably benign in terms of seizure frequency and evolution. Autonomic status epilepticus imparts no residual neurologic deficit. The risk of epilepsy in adult life seems to be no higher than in the general population. However, autonomic seizures are potentially life-threatening in the rare context of cardiorespiratory arrest, an area in which additional study is required. MISDIAGNOSIS: The clinical features of Panayiotopoulos syndrome are frequently mistaken as nonepileptic conditions such as acute encephalitis, syncope, migraine, cyclic vomiting syndrome, motion sickness, sleep disorder, or gastroenteritis. The consequence is avoidable misdiagnosis, high morbidity, and costly mismanagement. MANAGEMENT: Education about Panayiotopoulos syndrome is the cornerstone of management. Prophylactic treatment with antiepileptic medication may not be needed for most patients. Autonomic status epilepticus in the acute stage needs thorough evaluation; aggressive treatment may cause iatrogenic complications including cardiorespiratory arrest.

2.                  Shavit I, Brant R, Nijssen-Jordan C, Galbraith R, Johnson DW.  A novel imaging technique to measure capillary-refill time: improving diagnostic accuracy for dehydration in young children with gastroenteritis. Pediatrics. 2006 Dec;118(6):2402-8.

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

BACKGROUND: Assessment of dehydration in young children currently depends on clinical judgment, which is relatively inaccurate. By using digital videography, we developed a way to assess capillary-refill time more objectively. OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to determine whether digitally measured capillary-refill time assesses the presence of significant dehydration (> or = 5%) in young children with gastroenteritis more accurately than conventional capillary refill and overall clinical assessment. METHODS: We prospectively enrolled children with gastroenteritis, 1 month to 5 years of age, who were evaluated in a tertiary-care pediatric emergency department and judged by a triage nurse to be at least mildly dehydrated. Before any treatment, we measured the weight and digitally measured capillary-refill time of these children. Pediatric emergency physicians determined capillary-refill time by using conventional methods and degree of dehydration by overall clinical assessment by using a 7-point Likert scale. Postillness weight gain was used to estimate fluid deficit; beginning 48 hours after assessment, children were reweighed every 24 hours until 2 sequential weights differed by no more than 2%. We compared the accuracy of digitally measured capillary-refill time with conventional capillary refill and overall clinical assessment by determining sensitivities, specificities, likelihood ratios, and area under the receiver operator characteristic curves. RESULTS: A total of 83 patients were enrolled and had complete follow-up; 13 of these patients had significant dehydration (> or = 5% of body weight). The area under the receiver operator characteristic curves for digitally measured capillary-refill time and overall clinical assessment relative to fluid deficit (< 5% vs > or = 5%) were 0.99 and 0.88, respectively. Positive likelihood ratios were 11.7 for digitally measured capillary-refill time, 4.5 for conventional capillary refill, and 4.1 for overall clinical assessment. CONCLUSIONS: Results of this prospective cohort study suggest that digitally measured capillary-refill time more accurately predicts significant dehydration (> or = 5%) in young children with gastroenteritis than overall clinical assessment.

Diagnosis, Diagnostics, Immunodiagnosis & Immunodiagnostics:

15353.  Seah MD, Ng KC.  Pitfalls in paediatric appendicitis: Highlighting common clinical features of missed cases. Asian J Surg. 2006 Oct;29(4):262-6. 


15354.  Bernstein DI.  Live attenuated human rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix. Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2006 Oct;17(4):188-94. Review. 



15355.  Lamouse-Smith ES, Furuta GT.  Eosinophils in the gastrointestinal tract. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2006 Oct;8(5):390-5. Review. 

15356.  Playfor SD.  A safe solution. Arch Dis Child. 2006 Dec;91(12):1045-6.