Neurological sequelae of 2009 influenza A (H1N1) in children: A case series observed during a pandemic

Sirine A. Baltagi, Michael Shoykhet, Kathryn Felmet, Patrick M. Kochanek, Michael J. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE:: To outline a series of cases demonstrating neurologic complications in children with Influenza infection. The ongoing 2009 influenza A (H1N1) presents significant challenges to the field of pediatric critical care and requires increased awareness of new presentations and sequelae of infection. Since World Health Organization declared a H1N1 pandemic, much attention has been focused on its respiratory manifestations of the illness, but limited information regarding neurologic complications has been reported. DESIGN:: Case series. SETTING:: Pediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary care medical facility. PATIENTS:: Four children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit between March and November 2009 at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh with altered mental status and influenza infection. INTERVENTIONS:: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:: The clinical course was extracted by chart review and is summarized. All children demonstrated a coryzal prodrome, fever, and altered level of consciousness at admission, and one child presented with clinical seizures. Diagnostic studies performed to establish a diagnosis are summarized. All children had abnormal electroencephalograms early in their intensive care unit course and 50% had abnormal imaging studies. All children survived but 50% had neurologic deficits at hospital discharge. CONCLUSION:: We conclude that 2009 influenza A (H1N1) can cause significant acute and residual neurologic sequelae. Clinicians should consider Influenza within a comprehensive differential diagnosis in children with unexplained mental status changes during periods of pandemic influenza.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Encephalopathy/encephalitis
  • H1N1
  • Influenza A
  • Neurologic outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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