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DO CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL REGRESSION NEED EEG INVESTIGATION IN THE ABSENCE OF CLINICAL SEIZURES?
A child presents to your developmental clinic at 30 months old. His mother reports developmental regression of previously acquired developmental milestones. He has now lost his language skills and only makes incomprehensible babbles. He is otherwise clinically well and does not have clinical seizures. From his early history and current behaviour your clinical diagnosis is autism. You wonder whether an electroencephalogram (EEG) should be performed to rule out possible underlying subclinical epilepsy that may contribute to developmental regression.
Structured clinical question
In a seizure-free child with autism presenting with developmental regression [patient] is EEG [intervention] necessary to rule out subclinical epilepsy [outcome]?
The search date was March 2007.
Medline (1966–2007) was searched with four searches: “autism” AND “developmental delay” AND “EEG”; “autism” AND “developmental delay” AND “EEG” OR “epilepsy”; “autism regression” AND “EEG” OR “epilepsy”; “autism” and “developmental regression” AND “EEG” OR “epilepsy”; “pervasive developmental delay” AND “EEG” OR “epilepsy”.
Limits were human, English language, all children (0–18 years).
The Cochrane Library yielded no relevant results.
No systematic reviews were found. A total of 258 papers were identified, of which four were relevant. There …