Epileptic Disorders


Atypical evolution in childhood epilepsy with occipital paroxysms (Panayiotopoulos type) Volume 3, issue 3, September 2001


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MD, Servicio de Neurología, Hospital de Niños Juan P. Garrahan, Combate de los Pozos 1881, C.P. 1245, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We report, on two, school-age girls with clinical and electroencephalographic features of early onset childhood epilepsy with occipital paroxysms (CEOP) of the "Panayiotopoulos type" that showed atypical evolution. Neurological examination and brain imaging were normal in both. One child presented at age 2.5 years episodes of oculocephalic deviation, and ictal vomiting during nocturnal sleep. The EEG showed left occipital spikes during wakefulness and sleep. One year later, frequent inhibitory seizures appeared in the lower limbs causing, "pseudoataxic gait". At the same time she presented with behavioral disturbances and aphasia. EEG showed bilateral spike-waves while awake and continuous spike-waves during slow sleep (CSWSS). After switching AEDs to benzodiazepines, control of seizures along with improvement of behavior, and partial restoration of cognitive functions were achieved. The CSWSS disappeared and the last EEG at age 8 years only showed only isolated right occipital spikes. The other girl had a personal and familial history of febrile seizures. At 4 years of age she presented the first non-febrile seizures during sleep, with oculocephalic deviation and ictal vomiting, followed by a generalized tonic-clonic seizure. Partial control of seizures was obtained with antiepileptic drugs. At age 7, the child began to have weekly episodes of oculocephalic version, occasionally with secondary generalization. Repeated inhibitory seizures and absences also appeared. EEG showed frequent bilateral spikes occupying predominantly the posterior regions while awake, and CSWSS. At 7.5 years the same electro-clinical picture persisted. Ethosuximide was added to sodim valproate and clobazam. Fifteen days later, the seizures disappeared and the EEG showed less frequent bilateral occipital spikes. She is now 9 years old and she has been seizure-free for 18 months. Her present neuropsychological profile shows mild mental retardation. The two children with typical electroclinical features of "Panayiotopoulos Type" CEOP developed an atypical evolution which, to our knowledge, has not been described previously.