The Yield of the Medical Evaluation of Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders
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Little information is available regarding the yield of the medical evaluation of children diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder–not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) compared to children diagnosed with autistic disorder. Medical records were reviewed for 182 patients less than 18 years of age with either PDD-NOS or autistic disorder evaluated between 1994 and 1998 at Mayo Clinic. A condition likely to be etiologically relevant was identified in 6/117 (5.1%) patients diagnosed with PDD-NOS and 2/65 (3.1%) patients diagnosed with autistic disorder. Genetic disorders, both chromosomal and single-gene, were the most commonly identified conditions. Seizure disorders, electroencephalogram abnormalities, and anomalies on brain imaging were common in both groups. The likelihood of uncovering an etiologically relevant condition in children diagnosed with either PDD-NOS or autistic disorder may be equivalent. The scope of the etiological search in an individual patient with an autistic spectrum disorder should not be limited by the specific diagnostic category.
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