The computed tomography findings in 82 children with partial seizures of unknown aetiology were reviewed. All had seizures with predominantly focal motor phenomena and none had abnormality on neurological examination. Findings on computed tomography were normal in 64 children (78%) and abnormal in 18 children (22%). Fourteen children had changes representing static pathology (mainly cerebral atrophy) which did not influence patient management but four had potentially correctable lesions (two tumours and two arteriovenous malformations). There were no correlations between seizure control, seizure duration, intellectual handicap, postictal weakness, electroencephalographic findings, and abnormality on the computed tomogram. In particular, none of these features were useful in predicting the presence of a tumour or arteriovenous malformation. It is concluded that a computed tomogram is indicated in every child with partial seizures.
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