Facilitation of infantile spasms by partial seizures

Epilepsia. Jan-Feb 1993;34(1):97-109. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1993.tb02381.x.


We report 16 patients with infantile spasms in whom onset of the clusters of spasms appeared to be triggered by close temporal association with partial seizures. Common features included the presence of focal cerebral lesions in 12 infants (3 were classifiable as cryptogenic); all had partial seizures with EEG localization, clusters of bilateral spasms always preceded by partial seizures, and response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and traditional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) generally was poor. Three had complete agenesis of the corpus callosum, which argues against interhemispheric callosal spread of focal discharges resulting in the generalized spasms. Surgical cortical resections were performed in 6 of the infants, with good outcomes. This group of patients supports a model in which the spasms, although probably generated at a subcortical level, are facilitated or possibly induced by focal discharges from cortical pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Agenesis of Corpus Callosum
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / surgery
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / complications*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / diagnosis
  • Epilepsies, Partial / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Spasms, Infantile / diagnosis
  • Spasms, Infantile / etiology*
  • Spasms, Infantile / surgery