Early-onset benign occipital seizure susceptibility syndrome

Epilepsia. 1997 Mar;38(3):285-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1997.tb01119.x.


Purpose: Childhood epilepsy with occipital paroxysms (CEOP) is characterised by ictal visual hallucinations and occipital epileptiform activity on interictal EEG. A variant has been described with nonvisual symptoms including tonic head and eye deviation, vomiting, and episodes of partial status epilepticus. We fully documented the electroclinical features of such patients to determine whether classification separate from CEOP is justified.

Methods: This was a multicentre study with participating investigators submitting details of patients with idiopathic occipital seizures characterised by ictal head or eye deviation and vomiting.

Results: One hundred thirteen patients were recruited. Seizures began in early childhood (mean, 4.6 years) and occurred infrequently (mean total seizures, 3); 30% of patients had only a single seizure. Two thirds of seizures were nocturnal. Ictal eye deviation occurred in 79%, vomiting in 70%, and head deviation in 35%. Seizures were predominantly complex partial in type. Partial status epilepticus occurred in 44% of patients. Seventy-four percent of patients had occipital interictal EEG epileptiform activity, predominantly right sided, with fixation-off sensitivity. Extraoccipital EEG abnormalities occurred in 35% of patients. Prognosis was excellent: the mean duration of active seizures was 1 year.

Conclusions: Although the two groups shared identical EEG features, the distinct clinical symptoms probably justify separate classification. Early-onset benign occipital seizure syndrome (EBOSS) is suggested as an appropriate name for the variant group.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy / classification
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / diagnosis
  • Hallucinations / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occipital Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / diagnosis
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Status Epilepticus / diagnosis
  • Status Epilepticus / physiopathology
  • Visual Perception
  • Vomiting / diagnosis
  • Vomiting / epidemiology