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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Seizure characteristics of epilepsy in childhood after acute encephalopathy with biphasic seizures and late reduced diffusion

Yuji Ito, Jun Natsume, Hiroyuki Kidokoro, Naoko Ishihara, Yoshiteru Azuma, Takeshi Tsuji, Akihisa Okumura, Tetsuo Kubota, Naoki Ando, Shinji Saitoh, Kiyokuni Miura, Tamiko Negoro, Kazuyoshi Watanabe, Seiji Kojima
Epilepsia 2015, 56 (8): 1286-93
26118313

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to clarify characteristics of post-encephalopathic epilepsy (PEE) in children after acute encephalopathy with biphasic seizures and late reduced diffusion (AESD), paying particular attention to precise diagnosis of seizure types.

METHODS: Among 262 children with acute encephalopathy/encephalitis registered in a database of the Tokai Pediatric Neurology Society between 2005 and 2012, 44 were diagnosed with AESD according to the clinical course and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and were included in this study. Medical records were reviewed to investigate clinical data, MRI findings, neurologic outcomes, and presence or absence of PEE. Seizure types of PEE were determined by both clinical observation by pediatric neurologists and ictal video-electroencephalography (EEG) recordings.

RESULTS: Of the 44 patients after AESD, 10 (23%) had PEE. The period between the onset of encephalopathy and PEE ranged from 2 to 39 months (median 8.5 months). Cognitive impairment was more severe in patients with PEE than in those without. Biphasic seizures and status epilepticus during the acute phase of encephalopathy did not influence the risk of PEE. The most common seizure type of PEE on clinical observation was focal seizures (n = 5), followed by epileptic spasms (n = 4), myoclonic seizures (n = 3), and tonic seizures (n = 2). In six patients with PEE, seizures were induced by sudden unexpected sounds. Seizure types confirmed by ictal video-EEG recordings were epileptic spasms and focal seizures with frontal onset, and all focal seizures were startle seizures induced by sudden acoustic stimulation. Intractable daily seizures remain in six patients with PEE.

SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate seizure characteristics of PEE in children after AESD. Epileptic spasms and startle focal seizures are common seizure types. The specific seizure types may be determined by the pattern of diffuse subcortical white matter injury in AESD and age-dependent reorganization of the brain network.

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