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Dystonia in paediatric intensive care: a retrospective prevalence study
  1. Rumsha Ahmed1,
  2. Ben Griffiths2,
  3. Daniel E Lumsden3
  1. 1 Children’s Neurosciences, Evelina London Children’s Healthcare, London, UK
  2. 2 Paediatric Intensive Care, Evelina London Children’s Healthcare, London, London, UK
  3. 3 Paediatric Neurosciences, Guy’s and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel E Lumsden, Paediatric Neurosciences, Guy’s and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 7EH, UK; daniel.lumsden{at}

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Termed status dystonicus when most severe,1 dystonia is a disorder in which muscle contractions generate abnormal movements and/or postures.2 While it is recognised that severe dystonia may require intensive care management,1 there is a paucity of data addressing the prevalence of dystonia in paediatric intensive care units (PICUs). We therefore aimed to determine the incidence of dystonia as a contributor to the need for admission to PICU and/or as a factor complicating PICU admission at a single centre. To this effect, we performed a 10-year retrospective review of admissions to Evelina London Children’s Hospital (ELCH) PICU as well as interrogating the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet) database3 for all UK centres to identify admissions caused by dystonia (see online supplementary material).

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There were 12 103 admissions to the ELCH PICU between September 2007 and September 2017, including 583 from patients with ICD-9 codes suggesting a diagnosis which may give rise to dystonia. Case note review confirmed dystonia in 369/583 (63%) admissions. The 369 admissions were experienced …

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  • Contributors DEL conceived of the idea of the study, developed the methodology and assisted with data collection. RA performed data collection and analysis and produced the first draft of the manuscript. BG developed the methodology. RA, BG and DEL developed and approved the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There is no relevant further data available.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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