Ictal and interictal SPECT in a newborn infant with intractable seizure

Acta Paediatr. 1997 Dec;86(12):1379-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1997.tb14918.x.


Neonatal seizures can be difficult to classify according to partial vs generalized onset based on clinical appearance, electroencephalogram (EEG) or other adjunctive imaging techniques. Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) has proven to be useful in adults; however, its use is limited in the paediatric age group, particularly in neonates. A case of a 12-d-old infant with intractable seizures is reported, on whom an interictal Tc-99m HMPAO SPECT showed an area of hypoperfusion in the left temporal cortex, whereas the ictal SPECT revealed prominent hyperperfusion in the same area. The EEG of the infant demonstrated generalized epileptiform activity, while computed tomography and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings were normal. This case indicates that the use of SPECT may provide valuable data in evaluation of neonatal seizures, particularly with poorly localized EEG changes and normal MRI scans.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Seizures / classification*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed