Paroxysmal non-epileptic events in the pediatric emergency department

D Buonsenso, M Plosnic, G Bersani, S Monaco, P Ferrara, A Chiaretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paroxysmal non-epileptic events (PNEs), or pseudoseizures (PS) resemble epileptic seizures. They are considered part of a personality disorder and have a higher incidence among adolescents. Patients describe episodes (lasting up to 20 minutes) of loss of consciousness, twitching or jerking and unusual emotional states. Unlike epileptic seizures, they are not associated with electroencephalographic abnormalities. Distinguishing epileptic seizures from PNEs is not easy. 20% of patients with seizures have a final PNEs diagnosis but recognizing them on the first examination is difficult. Due to the severe initial clinical presentation, these patients are often admitted in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and may be over-treated. We report two cases admitted to our PICU for apparent status epilepticus, in which the final diagnosis was PNEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2188-2193
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


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