The perfusion defect seen with SPECT in West syndrome is not correlated with seizure prognosis or developmental outcome

Brain Dev. 2000 Jan;22(1):16-23. doi: 10.1016/s0387-7604(99)00081-9.


We used interictal single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) on 40 patients with West syndrome to determine whether cortical perfusion abnormalities are closely related to the development of West syndrome and whether they are correlated with the long-term seizure prognosis or the developmental outcome. Localized cortical perfusion abnormalities were seen in 24 patients (60%), while 15 patients (38%) were classified as normal. The remaining patient showed hyperperfusion of the basal ganglia bilaterally. Of 24 patients with localized perfusion abnormalities, unifocal cortical hypoperfusion was present in 11, multifocal hypoperfusion in 10, multiple cortical hypo- and hyperperfusion in one, hyperperfusion of the bilateral frontal cortices and brain stem in one, and focal hyperperfusion in the residual frontal cortex in one. For statistical analysis, we focused on 26 patients (cryptogenic; 10, symptomatic; 16), who were followed for more than 2 years after the onset of tonic spasms (mean 5.0 years). The results showed that focal cortical perfusion abnormalities were not correlated with the long-term seizure prognosis, the developmental outcome, or the response to ACTH therapy. In agreement with previous reports, the results of interictal SPECT suggested that focal cortical lesions play an important role in the development of West syndrome. However, statistical analysis showed that the existence of cortical dysfunction as defined by SPECT did not predict the seizure prognosis or the developmental outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Seizures / etiology*
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Spasms, Infantile / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spasms, Infantile / pathology
  • Spasms, Infantile / physiopathology*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon