Brief Resolved Unexplained Events: Analysis of an Apparent Life Threatening Event Database

Sriram Ramgopal*, Jane Soung, Raymond D. Pitetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify the proportion of patients previously diagnosed with apparent life-threatening events (ALTE) who would meet criteria for brief resolved unexplained events (BRUE) and to identify rates of adverse outcomes in subgroups: ALTE not meeting criteria for BRUE, lower-risk BRUE, and higher-risk ALTE. Methods: We performed a secondary analysis of a single-center prospective registry of patients diagnosed with ALTE in a tertiary care emergency department from March 1, 1997 to October 31, 2007. We identified the proportion of patients meeting criteria for BRUE, and the proportion of patients with BRUE meeting lower-risk criteria. We assessed outcomes of patients in subgroups. Results: Seven hundred and sixty-two patients were included. Adverse outcomes included recurrent ALTE (n = 49), aspiration (n = 9), trauma (n = 8), and death (n = 4). Three hundred and twenty-six of 762 (42.8%) met criteria for BRUE. Seventy of 326 (21.5%) met criteria for lower-risk BRUE. Adverse outcomes occurred in 40 of 436 (9.2%) with ALTE not meeting criteria for BRUE, 2 of 70 (2.9%) with lower-risk BRUE, and 23 of 256 (9.0%) with higher-risk BRUE. Of 4 patients who died, 1 had an ALTE not meeting criteria for BRUE and 3 had non–lower-risk BRUE. The BRUE risk criteria identified all BRUE patients that died or had substantial morbidity as higher-risk. Conclusions: Less than half of patients with ALTE meet criteria for BRUE. Of those who do, one-fifth is lower-risk. In this series, the risk-stratification in the BRUE criteria identified those patients at highest risk of adverse outcomes. Further research is required to risk-stratify patients with BRUE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-968
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • ALTE
  • BRUE
  • abuse
  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • low-risk
  • seizures
  • significant outcomes
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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