Objective: A prospective study was designed to analyze risk factors and clinical features in children with global developmental delay (GDD) at our hospital. No previous data is available on GDD from Oman. Methods: This study was conducted at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital from January 2008 until June 2009. All the children aged 5 years or less, referred with suspected GDD were included in the study. Data was analyzed to determine the underlying etiology. The children with neurodegenerative disease and muscular dystrophy were excluded from the study. Results: One hundred and ten children, 59 males (53.6%) and 51 females (46.4%) were included in the study. The mean age at initial evaluation was 13.29 months. An underlying etiology was determined in 79 (71.8%) children. Perinatal history was associated with significant difference in detection of etiology (p=0.039). Abnormal neurological examination was a significant factor in detection of the underlying etiology. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 105 children and metabolic screening in 93 children were the most frequently ordered investigations. Abnormal imaging, MRI (p=0.001), CT scan (p=0.036) and metabolic screening (p=0.034) were significantly associated with detection of etiology. Conclusion: Etiology was detected in 71.8% of the children. MRI was the most significant investigation to detect the abnormality.
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