Acute ataxia pediatric focus hypoxia and anoxia

Acute ataxia in a pediatric patient poses a diagnostic dilemma for any physician. While the most common etiologies are benign, occasional individuals require urgent intervention. Children with stroke, toxic ingestion, infection, and neuro-inflammatory disorders frequently exhibit ataxia as an essential-if not the only-presenting feature. The available retrospective research utilize inconsistent definitions of acute ataxia, precluding the ability to pool data from these studies. No prospective data exist that report on patients presenting to the emergency department with ataxia. This review examines the reported causes of ataxia and attempts to group them into distinct categories: post-infectious and inflammatory central and peripheral phenomena, toxic ingestion, neurovascular, infectious and miscellaneous.


From there, we synthesize the existing literature to understand which aspects of the history, physical exam, and ancillary testing might aid in narrowing the differential diagnosis. MRI is superior to CT in detecting inflammatory or vascular insults in the posterior fossa, though CT may be necessary in emergent situations. Lumbar puncture may be deferred until after admission in most instances, with suspicion for meningitis being the major exception. Reflex anoxic seizures in infants there is insufficient evidence to guide laboratory evaluation of serum, testing should be ordered based on clinical judgement-recommended studies include metabolic profiles and screening labs for metabolic disorders (lactate and ammonia). All patients should be reflexively screened for toxic ingestions.

We categorized the causes of acute ataxia in the pediatric population-referred to the division of neurology-at a large, urban pediatric medical center. Of the 120 cases identified over the past 11 years, post-infectious cerebellar ataxia was the most commonly diagnosed (59%), followed by drug intoxication, opsoclonus-myoclonus ataxia syndrome, episodic ataxia, acute cerebellitis, cerebellar stroke, ADEM, meningitis, cerebral vein thrombosis, leigh’s disease, miller-fisher syndrome, and concussion. Among the patients with post-infectious cerebellar ataxia, 85% were 1-6 years old and all had a history of antecedent viral illness. CSF pleocytosis was present in 40% of patients; all had normal brain mris. Nanoxia deep silence 3 review the majority (91%) recovered within 30 days. We conclude that post-infectious cerebellar ataxia remains the most common cause of acute ataxia in childhood and that it carries a good prognosis. We also differentiate acute post-infectious cerebellar ataxia from other causes with similar presentations.

Ataxia refers to motor incoordination that is usually most prominent during movement or when a child is attempting to maintain a sitting posture. The first part of the review focuses on the anatomic localization of ataxia–both within the nervous system and without–using a combination of historical features and physical findings. The remainder of the review discusses etiological considerations that vary depending on the age group under consideration. In infancy, certain specific diseases, such as opsoclonus myoclonus ataxia syndrome, must receive special mention because the underlying disease process may be amenable to surgical intervention. In the toddler- and school-age groups, certain conditions (such as stroke and acute cerebellitis) require immediate recognition and imaging, whereas others (such as post-infectious ataxia and concussion) require close follow-up. Social anxiety test free finally, mention must be made of diseases outside of the central nervous system that can present with ataxia, such as guillain-barré syndrome.

Acute ataxia is a relatively common presentation to the paediatric acute services or child neurologist. Although the cause of ataxia is most often benign, it is important during initial assessment to recognise or exclude serious causes including brain tumour and central nervous system infections. It is equally important to recognise the non-neurological causes of unsteady gait and to avoid unnecessary investigations. In this review, we have presented a diagnostic approach to a child presenting with acute ataxia and described various causes, their treatments and outcomes.

Evaluation of acute ataxia in a child poses a dilemma for the clinician in determining the extent and timing of initial screening tests. This article reviews the evidence concerning the diagnostic yield of commonly ordered tests in evaluating the child with acute ataxia. The literature revealed the following frequencies of laboratory screening abnormalities in children with acute ataxia: CT (∼2.5%), MRI (∼5%), lumbar puncture (43%), EEG (42%), and toxicology (49%). In most studies, abnormalities detected by these screening tests were nondiagnostic. There are insufficient data to assess yields of testing for autoimmune disorders or inborn errors of metabolism. A toxicology screen should be considered in all children presenting with acute ataxia. Neuroimaging should be considered in all children with new onset ataxia. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis has limited diagnostic specificity unless clinically indicated. Studies to examine neurophysiology testing did have sufficient evidence to support their use. There is insufficient evidence to establish a role for autoantibody testing or for routine screening for inborn error of metabolism in children presenting with acute ataxia. Finally, in a child presenting with ataxia and opsoclonus myoclonus, urine catecholamine testing for occult neuroblastoma is recommended. Fetal anoxia definition nuclear scan may be considered, however, there is insufficient evidence for additional body imaging.

Acute ataxia is a fairly common emergency that confronts the pediatric neurologist in daily life. The differential diagnosis of acute pediatric ataxia is wide, but informed history and careful clinical examination can narrow it and help target investigations. This review discusses various etiologies of acute pediatric ataxia, focusing on clinical presentation, diagnostic considerations, and approach to investigation. Aspects of treatment and prognosis are also mentioned. Diseases with potentially high morbidity and mortality, such as acute cerebellitis, opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome, and cerebellar stroke, receive particular attention.