COMPARISON OF SERUM ZINC LEVEL IN FEBRILE CHILDREN WITH AND WITHOUT CONVULSIONS
Vutukuru Pooja, M. Mathivanan* and M. Manju
Introduction: The pathophysiology of febrile seizure remains unknown, genetic factors or electrolyte disturbance may have a role in its occurrence or recurrence. Zn2 is needed for synthesis of GABA. When a patient develops low levels of zinc, the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors become activated and induce an epileptic discharge in children with high fever. The main objective of the study is to estimate serum zinc level in febrile children with and without convulsions and to evaluate the association of serum zinc level in febrile convulsions. Methods: A comparative study was done on 80 children during 11/2-year period in hospitals attached to Aarupadai Veedu Medical College from November 2019 to May 2021. 80 children were divided into two groups of 40 each of children with febrile convulsions and 40 children with fever without convulsions, Serum zinc levels were investigated in both the groups. The laboratory reference range is 65-130μg/dl. The serum Zinc levels in both the groups are compared using Chi square test and Independent T test. Results: Majority of patients were in the age group below 2 years, comprising of 40% in children with febrile convulsions and 42.5% in children with fever. Among 40 febrile convulsions female: male ratio was 1.35:1 and among 40 febrile children male; female ratio was 1: 1. Upper Respiratory tract infection constituted the major trigger factor in groups, 67.5% in cases and 62.5% in controls. Serum zinc levels were low in 72.5% of febrile children as compared to only 45% of children with fever (P-0.041). Febrile children with convulsion had a low mean serum zinc level of 52.52μg/dl as compared to mean of normal serum zinc value of 79.1 μg/dl in children with fever. Mean serum zinc level were significantly low in children with febrile convulsions with (P-0.001). Conclusions: This study shows that serum zinc levels are decreased in children with febrile convulsions when compared to children with fever alone without convulsions, thus indicating that zinc deprivation plays significant role in the pathogenesis of febrile convulsions. The role of zinc in febrile convulsions should be investigated by further studies and if the results are reproducible, zinc supplementation can be given in febrile convulsions.
Keywords: 6months-6years, Febrile seizures, Fever, Low serum zinc level.
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