Epileptic Disorders


The response to ACTH is determined early in the treatment of infantile spasms Volume 17, issue 1, March 2015


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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Neurology, Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA
* Correspondence: John R Mytinger Nationwide Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Neurology, 700 Children's Dr. Columbus, OH 43205, USA

Although adrenocorticotropic hormone is the most commonly used treatment for infantile spasms in the United States, the optimal regimen for this indication is not known. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the optimal adrenocorticotropic hormone treatment duration. We conducted a retrospective chart review of response to adrenocorticotropic hormone among all patients with infantile spasms managed at our institution from January 2009 to September 2013. Treatment response was defined as clinical remission for greater than or equal to 28 days starting at any point within the adrenocorticotropic hormone course and remission of hypsarrhythmia (or definite EEG improvement if hypsarrhythmia was absent at baseline). For responders, the diagnostic and post-treatment EEG tracings were reviewed. Electroclinical remission was achieved in 21 of 39 patients (54%) receiving adrenocorticotropic hormone, including 11/25 (44%) receiving a long course (typically 12 weeks) and 10/14 (71%) receiving a short course (typically four weeks). The mean time to clinical remission was 5.8 days (median: 5 days; range: 1-20 days). Only one patient responded beyond two weeks of treatment. This study provides Class IV evidence that among patients with infantile spasms, the response to adrenocorticotropic hormone is most often determined early in the treatment course. Given the importance of rapid remission, clinicians should consider adding or changing treatment if infantile spasms do not resolve within two weeks of adrenocorticotropic hormone initiation. Further study is needed to determine the optimal adrenocorticotropic hormone regimen for infantile spasms.