Previous reports described a pattern of hypoglycemia-induced damage predominantly affecting the parieto-occipital regions. The long-term neurological sequelae of severe neonatal hypoglycemic encephalopathy include developmental delay, poor head growth, learning or behavioral difficulties, visual impairment, and epilepsy. This study reports neurodevelopmental outcome of children with neonatal hypoglycemia-associated parieto-occipital brain injury who were evaluated in our pediatric neurology outpatient clinic for different neurological complaints.
We retrospectively reviewed patients who were followed at Kocaeli University Hospital, Pediatric Neurology Department between 2007 and 2015. Patients (n=42) with predominately parieto-occipital lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the typical pattern of neonatal hypoglycemia were evaluated. Patients with documented hypoglycemia (n=21) were included in this study. Patients (n=9) with recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia longer than 12 hours were evaluated as prolonged hypoglycemia.
Eleven patients (52.4%) experienced seizures in the neonatal period. Eighteen patients (85.7%) developed epilepsy during the follow-up. Refractory seizures were observed in 8 patients (38.1%). Nine patients (42.9%) manifested microcephaly, seven patients (33.3%) manifested cerebral palsy. Parieto-occipital involvement and the spasticity rate were statistically high in patients with prolonged hypoglycemia (p<0.01). Two patients had autistic features and four patients (19%) had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. VEP studies could be performed in 18 of 21 patients. All patients had abnormal VEP results.
We are of the opinion that most patients of neonatal hypoglycemia are not always documented. Patients under risk and patients with symptoms of hypoglycemia should be vigorously screened and treated to prevent neurologic impairments including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and visual disturbance.

Copyright: © 2022 Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society.