Outcome Predictors of Non Traumatic Coma in Children


Assiut University




Impaired Consciousness


Device: CT brain

Study type


Funder types



Non Traumatic Coma in Children

Details and patient eligibility


To catch the high risk comatosed child to improve service and direct the limited resources to those children in countries with limited resources .

Full description

Non Traumatic Coma in children is an important pediatric emergency. It has been an enigma for clinicians for many years. To find the cause of coma and to determine the prognosis is a taxing question for the attending clinicians and the primary concern for relatives in every case.

Non-traumatic coma in childhood accounts for high morbidity and mortality in pediatric age group. It can result from wide range of primary etiologies. Etiology of coma and clinical status at the time of admission are likely outcome predictors. Infection is the commonest etiology for coma in all age groups .

Coma in children is recognized to be a non-specific sign with a wide potential differential diagnosis. Among various etiological factors identified for non-traumatic coma, considerable regional diversity exists in them with infectious problems suggested to be more common in developing countries. There has been few case series in developing countries with specific reference to infective etiology and there are also differences in infective agents between developing and developed countries. Similarly prediction of outcome of coma is difficult early in the course of the illness, especially in children. There have been many studies suggesting prognostic parameters of coma in adults, but limited reviews are available for children.

Etiologically it can be divided into two broad categories: those without focal neurologic signs (e.g., metabolic encephalopathies); meningitis syndromes, characterized by fever or stiff neck and an excess of cells in the spinal fluid (e.g., bacterial meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage); and conditions associated with prominent focal signs (e.g., stroke, cerebral hemorrhage). In most instances coma is part of an obvious medical problem such as drug ingestion, hypoxia, stroke, trauma, or liver or kidney failure. Conditions that cause sudden coma include drug ingestion, cerebral hemorrhage, trauma, cardiac arrest, epilepsy, or basilar artery embolism. Coma that appears subacutely is usually related to a preceding medical or neurologic problem, including the secondary brain swelling of a mass lesion such as tumor or cerebral infarction.

Central nervous infections are the most common cause . Toxic-metabolic, status-epilepticus, hypoxic-ischemic, intracranial bleed etc. are other main causes.

Neurological outcome is often the foremost concern of parents and physicians .Etiology of coma and clinical status at the time of presentation are the most likely predictors of outcome. Simple clinical signs have been found as good predictors of outcome .

Non-traumatic coma is an important source of morbidity and mortality in the pediatric age group. Accurate diagnosis of etiology of childhood coma in resource poor countries is complicated by overlap in clinical presentation, limited diagnostic resources, disease endemicity and co-morbidity . Considerable skill is required to distinguish the group at high risk for further deterioration, potentially leading either to death or severe handicap. This study attempts to identify the common etiological factors of pediatric comatose patients as well as the predictors of poor outcomes in these patients .

Episodes were defined on the basis of a Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) of less than 12 for more than six hours . Many acutely ill children are not fully conscious because pathologic processes may affect the parts of the central nervous system that mediate consciousness; alteration in the state of consciousness is a common feature of many different conditions.

Many of these children make a full neurological recovery. However, depending on the underlying etiology non-traumatic coma may cause considerable mortality and morbidity in pediatric age group .


50 estimated patients




2 months to 18 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • disturbed conscious level
  • Children's family signed consent of approval to participate in the study

Exclusion criteria

  1. Children aged <2 months or >18 years.
  2. Coma of traumatic etiology.
  3. Coma as part of an anticipated terminal illness.

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Hanan Zaka; Gamal Askar, prof

Data sourced from

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