Video/EEG aspects of early-infantile epileptic encephalopathy with suppression-bursts (Ohtahara syndrome)

Lucia Fusco, Christa Pachatz, Matteo Di Capua, Federico Vigevano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early-infantile epileptic encephalopathy (EIEE) with suppression-bursts is a severe neonatal epileptic encephalopathy. The etiology is multiple, with cerebral malformations as the more frequent. We review the clinical and video/EEG aspects of eight infants with EIEE. These infants, aged between 4 and 70 days at the time of video/EEG recordings, were studied in relation to their clinical and video/EEG characteristics, evolution, persistence of suppression-burst pattern and etiology. Seven of the eight infants showed an ictal clinical sign correlated to the burst of the suppression-burst pattern, four of whom died within 11 months of age. The other three are alive. One, now aged 4 years, underwent surgery for hemimegalencephaly and is seizure-free, with good neurological outcome. One, now aged 9 months, was pyridoxine-dependent and she is seizure-free, and with normal neurological evolution under pyridoxine therapy. One, now aged 3 years and 9 months, is seizure-free, but with severe neurological and cognitive impairment. The only child who did not show a clinical ictal correlation of burst is also alive, now aged 3 years and 9 months, with drug-resistant epilepsy, and severe neurological and cognitive deficits. With regard to the etiology, three showed structural abnormalities, two more showed some signs of prenatal origin of neurological disease, and three had metabolic etiology. Our study confirms that EIEE is a severe age-dependent early epileptic encephalopathy. The etiology is mostly malformative. The prognosis is poor regarding motor and cognitive development, seizures, as well as life expectancies. The presence of an ictal burst of the suppression-burst pattern usually correlates with a negative outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-714
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Early-infantile epileptic encephalopathy
  • Neonatal seizures
  • Ohtahara syndrome
  • Suppression-burst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


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