SPECT and epilepsy with continuous spike waves during slow-wave sleep

Roberto Gaggero, Mauro Caputo, Paola Fiorio, Alice Pessagno, Maria Giuseppina Baglietto, Piero Muttini, Maurizio De Negri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ten cases of epilepsy with continuous spike waves in slow-wave sleep (CSWS) were evaluated using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT); in eight patients the EEG paroxysmal abnormalities showed a predominant localization. SPECT carried out using99mTc-HMPAO allows study of cerebral blood flow (CBF); the examination was performed during phases of drowsiness and the results compared to the EEG data. In four cases SPECT revealed areas of low CBF in sites corresponding to those of the prevalent EEG discharges; in two cases the areas of hypoperfusion did not correspond to those indicated by the EEG; lastly, in four cases SPECT results were negative. The areas of hypoperfusion were predominantly located in the frontal, temporal, and parietal regions. Furthermore, the percentage of positive SPECT results was significantly higher (five cases out of six) in the group in which the CSWS phase was prolonged for at least 1 year, compared to the group in which this phase lasted less than 1 year. Thus, in this type of epilepsy, SPECT reveals focal cortical areas of decreased CBF which correlated generally to the predominant sites of EEG abnormalities. A longer duration of the CSWS phase seems to be associated with a more significant cortical disorder, documented by the presence of areas of hypoperfusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995


  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Epilepsy
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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