Convulsions associated with gastroenteritis in the spectrum of benign focal epilepsies in infancy: 30 cases including four cases with ictal EEG recording

Raffaella Cusmai, Bosanka Jocic-Jakubi, Laura Cantonetti, Natia Japaridze, Federico Vigevano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Benign convulsions associated with gastroenteritis are now recognized as a clinical entity, characterized by an acute cluster of afebrile seizures during an episode of mild diarrhoea with excellent prognosis. We observed 30 children who each experienced at least two seizures associated with mild gastroenteritis. The inclusion criteria were: afebrile seizures during gastroenteritis, dehydration at ≤ 5%, normal neurological findings, normal psychomotor development and no underlying pathology according to laboratory and neuroimaging studies. Mean age was 21 months (range: 6-38). Familial history for epilepsy was positive in 3/30 (10%) and for febrile convulsions in 11/30 (36.6%). Seizure onset was mainly on the third day of gastroenteritis. Seizures were described as generalised by parents in 16/30 patients (53.3%). We directly observed seizures in 14/30 patients (47.7%), and the semiology was partial with secondary generalisation. Focal onset was confirmed in two patients by EEG and in two patients by video-EEG recording. Twenty of 30 patients (66.6%) received antiepileptic drugs during the acute phase. Ten patients (33.3%) received no treatment. During follow-up (mean duration: 53 months), one patient had an isolated afebrile seizure and two others a febrile seizure. At the end of follow-up, antiepileptic treatment was withdrawn for all but two patients. None developed epilepsy. Although the pathogenesis of this clinical entity is unknown, we hypothesize that mild gastroenteritis may provoke a transient brain dysfunction which in turn provokes seizures in children with genetically determined susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-261
Number of pages7
JournalEpileptic Disorders
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Convulsions
  • Epilepsies in infancy
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Rotavirus
  • Seizure susceptibility syndrome
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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