Question of the Week # 468

468) An 18-month-old girl is brought to the hospital by her parents because of a high fever and generalized “body shaking” 2 hours ago. The parents say that she was “pretty fussy” all day and her temperature at that time was 37.3 °C (99.2 °F). Over the past few hours, she began to “burn up,” with her temperature spiking to 39.7 °C (103.4 °F). They put her into her crib to go to sleep, and they heard “banging” coming from the baby monitor in their bedroom. When they arrived in her room 10 seconds later, her entire body was “shaking”. It lasted about 2 minutes, and did not recur. She was lethargic and drowsy for 5 minutes after the “shaking”. Nobody in the family has ever had a seizure before. Her temperature is 39.3 °C (102.8 F). Neurologic examination is unremarkable. A chest x-ray shows a left lower lobe consolidation.

A lumbar puncture shows:

Color clear

Glucose 55 mg/ml

Protein 22 mg/ml

Lymphocytes 4/ml

The parents are concerned about the severity of their daughter’s condition and what they can expect in the future. The most appropriate response is which of the following?

A. “Luckily, you got to the hospital in time to avoid complications such as hydrocephalus, hearing loss, speech or developmental delays, and mental retardation.”
B. “Since you do not have a family history of febrile seizures, chances are that she will go on to have idiopathic epilepsy.”
C. “This episode is due to her pulmonary infection, and it will never recur.”
D. “Your daughter will most likely have a complete recovery and there is only a very small chance that she will develop epilepsy.”
E. “Your daughter’s condition is very serious and a full evaluation for epilepsy is indicated at this time.”

7 Responses

  1. d

  2. D.
    Is it supposed to be lymphocytes 5 cells per microliter, glucose 55 mg per deciliter and protein 22mg per deciliter ? Those would be abnormal if they are per ml.

  3. D

  4. The CSF result is normal. No evidence of meningitis.

  5. D

  6. D

  7. D

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