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Convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) is a common neurological emergency. Our objectives were to study children with recurrent nonfebrile CSE to assess the evidence for focal origin.
Series of 18 children with recurrent CSE and intractable epilepsy were identified by chart review. Clinical, radiological, and EEG data were reviewed. Focal structural abnormalities were identified on MRI and CT images by one neuroradiologist who was unaware of the clinical details.
The patient's ages ranged between 6-22 years (mean 15.3, SD 4), and 67% were males. Most children (89%) had a severe cognitive and / or behavioural disorder. Most patients (89%) had multiple seizure types and 95% of these were partial seizures. Twelve (67%) children had at least one episode of CSE with focal features identified clinically. Focal brain abnormalities were detected on 18% and 55% of CTand MRI films respectively. Overall, 53% had a focal abnormality on structural neuroimaging. Interictal EEG revealed focal or multifocal abnormalities on at least one occasion in 94% and 22% of patients respectively. Overall, 17 patients had focal features on at least one EEG. Thirteen ictal EEGs were recorded on 11 (61%) patients. Ten (91%) of these recordings revealed a focal onset.
Many handicapped children with recurrent CSE have focal clinical, radiological, or electrographic features. This supports a focal origin for CSE in most children with intractable epilepsy.
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