Clinical and neurophysiologic spectrum associated with atypical absence seizures in children with intractable epilepsy

J Child Neurol. 2005 May;20(5):404-10. doi: 10.1177/08830738050200050201.


The aim of this study was to describe the clinical and neurophysiologic correlates of atypical absence seizures in children with intractable epilepsy. In a retrospective review, 19 children with videoelectroencephalographic monitoring (female n=14; male n=5) fulfilled the electroclinical criteria for this seizure type. Atypical absence seizures occurred in a spectrum of clinical conditions associated with educational disability and intractable seizures. In comparison with children with only atypical absence seizures, children with atypical absence in association with multiple seizure types were more likely to have severe educational disability (n=11 of 13; P = .01), a slower ictal frequency (n=10 of 13; P = .01), and slow background rhythms for age (n = 13 of 13; P = .03). This study illustrates the broad clinical spectrum in which atypical absence seizures are encountered. Differentiation between children with only atypical absence seizures and children with multiple seizure types can be useful with respect to potential academic ability.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Status
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Absence / diagnostic imaging
  • Epilepsy, Absence / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy, Absence / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Video Recording
  • Wakefulness / physiology