Generalized-onset seizures with secondary focal evolution.

Williamson R, Hanif S, Mathews GC, Lagrange AH, Abou-Khalil B
Epilepsia. 2009 50 (7): 1827-32

PMID: 19260942 · DOI:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02045.x

The international seizure classification recognizes that partial-onset seizures can become secondarily generalized, but generalized-onset seizures are expected to remain generalized. We report six patients who had recorded seizures with generalized onset, but subsequent evolution into a focal discharge. The clinical seizure onset was generalized absence or myoclonic, and the most common subsequent clinical pattern was prolonged behavioral arrest with mild automatisms, and then postictal confusion. The ictal discharge started with generalized spike-and-wave activity and then acquired a focal predominance. Interictal epileptiform activity was generalized. There were no focal magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities. Four patients were misdiagnosed with complex partial seizures. All patients were initially refractory, but three became seizure-free and three improved after treatment with antiepileptic medications appropriate for absence or myoclonic seizures. Generalized-onset seizures that acquire focal features are easily misdiagnosed as complex partial. These seizures have a more favorable response to medications effective against generalized absence and myoclonic seizures.

MeSH Terms (17)

Adolescent Adult Age of Onset Anticonvulsants Child Child, Preschool Electroencephalography Epilepsies, Partial Epilepsy, Generalized Female Follow-Up Studies Humans Longitudinal Studies Male Middle Aged Treatment Outcome Videotape Recording

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