Diagnoses made in a secondary care “fits, faints, and funny turns” clinic
- Correspondence to:
Dr D Hindley
Consultant Paediatrician, Halliwell Children’s Centre, Bolton BL1 3SQ, UK;
- Accepted 6 April 2005
Aims: To investigate the diagnoses made for children referred to a “fits, faints, and funny turns” clinic.
Methods: Prospective study of 380 children referred to a dedicated secondary care clinic over an eight year period.
Results: Twenty three per cent of children were given a final diagnosis of one of the childhood epilepsies, with 48% of these having a specific epilepsy syndrome. Syncope was the commonest cause of a non-epileptic event (syncope and reflex anoxic seizures comprised 100/238, 42%) but there were a wide variety of other causes. Fifty three events (14%) were unclassified and managed without a diagnostic label or treatment.
Conclusions: In children with funny turns referred to secondary care, the diagnostic possibilities are numerous; among non-epileptic events, syncopes predominate. The majority do not have epilepsy. Unclassifiable events with no clear epileptic or non-epileptic cause are common and can be safely managed expectantly.
- AED, antiepileptic drug
- CT, computed tomography
- ECG, electrocardiogram
- EEG, electroencephalogram
- FFAFT, fits, faints, and funny turns
- MRI, magnetic resonance imaging
Competing interests: none declared