Apnoeic attacks as an isolated manifestation of epileptic seizures in infants

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 1998;2(4):187-91. doi: 10.1016/s1090-3798(98)80018-4.


Apnoea as an isolated manifestation of seizures is well described in neonates but is only occasionally observed in infants. We present data from four infants, with apnoea as the sole manifestation of seizures, documented by polygraphic ictal electroencephalogram (EEGC) and video recording. The four infants, after normal pregnancy and delivery at term, showed the first apnoea at the age of 2-11 months. The interictal EEG was normal. The ictal EEG and video recording showed in all infants a focal rhythmic alpha or theta activity with or without generalization, which lasted 40-120 seconds. The apnoea appeared a few seconds after the beginning of rhythmic activity and the heart rate remained unchanged during the apnoea. At 2 years' follow-up, three children are seizure-free under anti-epileptic therapy with normal psychomotor development in two, and a slight delay in the third infant. The fourth child has partial seizures and is severely retarded.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Apnea / diagnosis
  • Apnea / etiology*
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology