Ictal pattern of EEG and muscular activation in symptomatic infantile spasms: A videopolygraphic and computer analysis

Francesca Bisulli, Lilia Volpi, Stefano Meletti, Guido Rubboli, Emilio Franzoni, Milena Moscano, Giuseppe D'Orsi, Carlo Alberto Tassinari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate ictal muscular phenomena characterizing symptomatic infantile spasms (ISs) and their relation to ictal EEG. Methods: Four children with severe encephalopathy, neurologic impairment, and refractory ISs related to different dysplastic lesions, underwent videopolygraphic recordings collecting surface electromyogram (EMG) activity from several cranial and limb muscles to evaluate the pattern of muscular recruitment, duration, and side-to-side asymmetry of ISs. Acquired data were stored for off-line analysis by a computerized polygraphic system. Results: Spasms were characterized by a complex pattern of muscular activation. A constant or rostrocaudal propagation pattern was lacking in all patients. Intervals between the onset of EMG activity in different muscles in each spasm were very long: ≤100-200 ms. Two patients, with hemispheric cortical dysplasia and agenesis of the corpus callosum, had asymmetric and asynchronous spasms in which the EMG onset of the muscles contralateral to the affected hemisphere constantly anticipated that of the ipsilateral ones. Backaveraging of EEG activity disclosed a high-amplitude EEG complex on the same side as the dysplastic lesion, preceding or succeeding the contralateral muscle activity onset. In the other two patients with diffuse cortical dysplasia, no EEG transient was related to EMG activity onset. Conclusions: Despite clinical similarity between spasms in the same patient, our data demonstrate the complexity and heterogeneity of these motor phenomena. Our findings cannot be explained simply in terms of cortical or reticular generators like other motor phenomena such as cortical myoclonus or startle reflex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1559-1563
Number of pages5
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Backaverage
  • Computerized analysis
  • Muscular pattern
  • Symptomatic infantile spasms
  • Video-polygraphic recording

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Ictal pattern of EEG and muscular activation in symptomatic infantile spasms: A videopolygraphic and computer analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this