Hematologic manifestations and impaired liver synthetic function during valproate monotherapy
Abstract In a prospective study 50 children with new onset epilepsy were investigated. Routine screening for complete blood count, serum protein, albumin, y-glutamyltransferase (γ-GT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase, and coagulation studies before, 3, 6 and 9 weeks after commencement of antiepileptic therapy with valproate were carried out. Serum B12 and folate levels were also determined in 29 patients. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of VPA on these laboratory findings. We found a significant reduction of red blood count and platelet count, whereas MCV showed a significant upward trend. Vitamin B 12 levels were elevated after starting VPA therapy. We found no elevations of liver enzymes, but a significant transient reduction of ALT after 3 and 6 weeks and significantly reduced serum protein and albumin after 3, 6 and 9 weeks. Coagulation studies revealed a significant downward trend in serum fibrinogen and upward trend in thrombin time. The other parameters showed no significant changes after onset of VPA treatment. We think that reduced red blood cell and platelet counts, and elevated MCV indicate a direct toxic effect on a hematopoietic precursor or stem cell in patients treated with VPA. Furthermore, reduced protein, albumin and fibrinogen indicate an impaired liver synthetic function in asymptomatic children treated with VPA monotherapy.
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