Purpose: To evaluate pediatric seizure patients for astrocytic injury by measuring cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), determine risk factors for GFAP elevation after seizures, and compare seizure-induced astrocyte injury with neuronal injury by concurrent measurement of CSF neuron-specific enolase (NSE). Methods: CSF obtained from pediatric patients (n = 52) within 24 h of seizure was assayed for GFAP and NSE. Retrospective chart review was performed for seizure type, duration, and etiology. Results: Overall, children with seizures had elevated CSF GFAP compared with controls (p = 0.0075), but no elevation of NSE (p = 0.1437). No effect of seizure type or etiology was found, but a significant positive effect of seizure duration (p = 0.0010) and status epilepticus (p = 0.0296) was seen on CSF GFAP. Individually, seven children (13%) had elevated GFAP (>440 pg/ml); in five children, the increased GFAP was not accompanied by elevations in NSE (<12 ng/ml). Five children with elevated GFAP had symptomatic etiologies for their seizures, but the etiology of one child with elevated GFAP was cryptogenic, and one had febrile seizures. Conclusions: Elevation of CSF GFAP after seizures suggests that astrocytic injury may occur in a subgroup of children, primarily in the context of prolonged seizures and symptomatic etiologies. Increased GFAP levels may occur in patients with normal NSE, suggesting that GFAP may be a more sensitive marker of brain injury in some cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1455-1458
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Astrocyte
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein
  • Injury
  • Seizure


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