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Benign epilepsy of childhood with central temporal spikes (BECTS) and absence epilepsy are common epilepsy syndromes in children with similar age of onset and favorable prognosis. However, the co-existence of the electrocardiogram (EEG) findings of rolandic spike and 3 Hz generalized spike-wave (GSW) discharges is extremely rare, with few cases reported in the literature. Our objective was to characterize the EEG findings of these syndromes in children in our center and review the electro-clinical features.
All EEGs at BC Children’s Hospital are entered in a database, which include EEG findings and clinical data. Patients with both centro-temporal spikes and 3 Hz GSW discharges were identified from the database and clinical data were reviewed.
Among the 43,061 patients in the database from 1992 to 2017, 1426 with isolated rolandic discharges and 528 patients with isolated 3 Hz GSW discharges were identified, and 20 (0.05%) patients had both findings: 3/20 had BECTS, and subsequently developed childhood absence epilepsy and 17/20 had no seizures characteristic for BECTS. At follow-up, 17 (85%) were seizure-free, 1 (5%) had rare, and 2 (10%) had frequent seizures.
This is the largest reported group of patients to our knowledge with the co-existence of rolandic and 3 Hz GSW discharges on EEGs in one institution, not drug-induced. As the presence of both findings is extremely rare, distinct pathophysiological mechanisms are likely. The majority had excellent seizure control at follow-up, similar to what would be expected for each type of epilepsy alone.
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