Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Fifteen-minute consultation: The child with acute ataxia
  1. Manish Prasad1,
  2. Min Tsui Ong2,
  3. Gururaj Setty3,
  4. William P Whitehouse2,4
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Dewsbury District Hospital, Dewsbury, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Neurology, Nottingham Children's Hospital, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatrics, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK
  4. 4School of Clinical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Manish Prasad, Department of Paediatrics, Dewsbury District Hospital, Dewsbury WF13 4HS, UK; m.prasad{at}


Acute ataxia is a relatively common presentation to the paediatric acute services or child neurologist. Although the cause of ataxia is most often benign, it is important during initial assessment to recognise or exclude serious causes including brain tumour and central nervous system infections. It is equally important to recognise the non-neurological causes of unsteady gait and to avoid unnecessary investigations. In this review, we have presented a diagnostic approach to a child presenting with acute ataxia and described various causes, their treatments and outcomes.

  • Accident & Emergency
  • General Paediatrics
  • Neurology
  • Neuromuscular

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.