Epileptic Disorders


Children with Rolandic spikes and ictal vomiting: Rolandic epilepsy or Panayiotopoulos syndrome? Volume 5, issue 3, September 2003


Centrotemporal spikes are the EEG marker of Rolandic epilepsy, while ictus emeticus is one of the main seizure manifestations of Panayiotopoulos syndrome. Ictus emeticus has not been reported in Rolandic epilepsy. Out of a population of 1340 children with focal afebrile seizures we studied 24 children who had emetic manifestations in at least one seizure and centrotemporal spikes in at least one EEG. They were of normal neurological status and had a follow‐up of at least two years after the last seizure. All children had sleep EEG following sleep deprivation. Two groups of patients were identified. Group A (12 patients) with EEG centrotemporal spikes only and group B (12 patients) with centrotemporal spikes and spikes in other locations. In 21 patients, ictal emetic manifestations culminated in vomiting and in three only nausea or retching occurred. The commonest presentation was ictus emeticus at onset followed by deviation of the eyes or staring, loss of contact and floppiness. In 79%, seizures occurred during sleep. Autonomic status epilepticus occurred in 37.5%. The mean age at onset was 5.3 years. Overall analysis of the clinical and EEG data points out that the vast majority of these patients primarily suffer from Panayiotopoulos syndrome. Twenty patients (83%) had ictal semiology typical of Panayiotopoulos syndrome, but five also had concurrent Rolandic symptoms and four later developed pure Rolandic seizures. The other four patients (17%) had typical Rolandic seizures with concurrent ictus emeticus. These findings suggest a link between Rolandic epilepsy and Panayiotopoulos syndrome, the two most important phenotypes of the benign childhood seizure susceptibility syndrome.