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2022 Sep 23

Children (Basel)



Clinical and Instrumental Follow-Up of Childhood Absence Epilepsy (CAE): Exploration of Prognostic Factors.


Amianto F, Davico C, Bertino F, Bartolini L, Vittorini R, Vacchetti M, Vitiello B
Children (Basel). 2022 Sep 23; 9(10).
PMID: 36291387.


Idiopathic generalized epilepsies (IGEs) represent 15-20% of all cases of epilepsy in children. This study explores predictors of long-term outcome in a sample of children with childhood absence epilepsy (CAE). The medical records of patients with CAE treated at a university paediatric hospital between 1995 and 2022 were systematically reviewed. Demographics and relevant clinical data, including electroencephalogram, brain imaging, and treatment outcome were extracted. Outcomes of interest included success in seizure control and seizure freedom after anti-seizure medication (ASM) discontinuation. An analysis of covariance using the diagnostic group as a confounder was performed on putative predictors. We included 106 children (age 16.5 ± 6.63 years) with CAE with a mean follow-up of 5 years. Seizure control was achieved in 98.1% (in 56.6% with one ASM). Headache and generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) were more frequent in children requiring more than one ASM ( 0.001 and 0.002, respectively). Of 65 who discontinued ASM, 54 (83%) remained seizure-free, while 11 (17%) relapsed (mean relapse time 9 months, range 0-18 months). Relapse was associated with GTCS ( 0.001) and number of ASM ( 0.002). A history of headache or of GTCS, along with the cumulative number of ASMs utilized, predicted seizure recurrence upon ASM discontinuation. Withdrawing ASM in patients with these characteristics requires special attention.