John Libbey Eurotext

Vomiting and retching as presenting signs of focal epilepsy in children Volume 22, numéro 6, December 2020

Vidéos

  • Vomiting and retching as presenting signs of focal epilepsy in children
  • Vomiting and retching as presenting signs of focal epilepsy in children

Illustrations

  • Figure 1
  • Figure 2
Auteurs
1 Pediatric Neurology Unit, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium
2 Departement of Nuclear Medicine, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium
3 Institute of Clinical and Experimental Research, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
* Correspondence: Maria Roberta Cilio Pediatric Neurology Unit, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Avenue Hippocrate 10/1062, 1200, Brussels, Belgium
* These authors contributed equally

Ictal vomiting is a rare condition easily misdiagnosed as a common disease. We report two children presenting with retching and vomiting as the main ictal manifestation. Patient 1 was a four-year-old girl with a history of daily nocturnal vomiting for two months, first interpreted as a functional disorder, then as a viral infection. She presented with vomiting accompanied by focal right-sided hemifacial clonic jerking, occurring multiple times per day. Video-EEG demonstrated ictal discharges associated with the retching and vomiting, over a normal background, and occasional interictal focal spikes. MRI was normal. PET demonstrated left-sided opercular hypometabolism. Patient 2 was a girl with a history of focal epilepsy, secondary to a right central dysembryoplastic tumour, first resected with subsequent seizure freedom at the age of three years. At five years of age, she presented with recurrent episodes of retching and vomiting initially diagnosed as migraine. Video-EEG showed ictal discharges, clinically correlating with retching, vomiting and clonic facial jerking, with normal interictal activity. Brain MRI showed a progression of the tumour. A second resection resulted in seizure freedom. Ictal vomiting often goes undiagnosed, especially in children, causing treatment delays. An ictal origin should be considered, particularly when the episodes are recurrent and stereotyped. [Published with video sequences].