Panayiotopoulos syndrome: an important childhood autonomic epilepsy to be differentiated from occipital epilepsy and acute non-epileptic disorders

Brain Dev. 2010 Jan;32(1):4-9. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2009.03.002. Epub 2009 Apr 21.


Panayiotopoulos syndrome is a common multifocal autonomic childhood epileptic disorder with significant clinical, pathophysiological and management implications. It affects otherwise normal children with onset at around 3-6 years. It is characterized by seizures, often prolonged, with predominantly autonomic symptoms and mainly ictal vomiting. EEG shows shifting and/or multiple foci, often with occipital dominance. Despite characteristic clinical and EEG manifestations Panayiotopoulos syndrome is often confused with occipital epilepsy and acute non-epileptic disorders such as encephalitis, syncope, cyclic vomiting or atypical migraine. This review aims to describe Panayiotopoulos syndrome on the basis of independent major studies and provide clinical clues for diagnosis and management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Epilepsies, Partial / classification
  • Epilepsies, Partial / diagnosis
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy / classification
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Syndrome