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Clinical course and seizure outcome of idiopathic childhood epilepsy: determinants of early and long-term prognosis.

TitleClinical course and seizure outcome of idiopathic childhood epilepsy: determinants of early and long-term prognosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDragoumi, P., Tzetzi O., Vargiami E., Pavlou E., Krikonis K., Kontopoulos E., & Zafeiriou D. I.
JournalBMC Neurol
Date Published2013
KeywordsAdolescent, Age of Onset, Anticonvulsants, Child, Child, Preschool, Epilepsy, Female, Humans, Infant, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Prognosis, Retrospective Studies, Seizures, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome

BACKGROUND: Idiopathic epilepsies and epileptic syndromes predominate childhood and adolescence epilepsy. The aim of the present study was to investigate the clinical course and outcome of idiopathic childhood epilepsy and identify variables determining both early and long-term prognosis.METHODS: We followed 303 children with newly diagnosed idiopathic epilepsy aged 1-14 years old, both prospectively and retrospectively. Outcome was defined at one, 2 and 4 years of follow-up, as well as at the end of the study period for all patients. Based on the data collected, patients were classified in four patterns of clinical course: "excellent", "improving", "relapsing" and "poor". Variables defined at intake and after the initial year of treatment were analyzed for their prognostic relevance towards the clinical course and outcome of the patients.RESULTS: The mean age at seizure onset was 6.7 years and the mean duration of follow-up was 8.3 years (range 2,0-22,0,SD 4,24). During the initial year of treatment, 70,3% of patients were seizure-free. The course of epilepsy was "excellent" in 53,1% of the subjects, "improving" in 22,8%, "relapsing" in 22,1% whereas only 6 children with idiopathic epilepsy (2%) had a "poor" clinical course exhibiting drug-resistance. After multivariate analysis, variables predictive of a poor initial response to therapy were early seizure onset, multiple seizure types and history of status epilepticus. At the end of follow-up, early response to treatment was of significant positive predictive value, while the presence of multiple seizure types and the history of migraine had a negative impact on prognosis.CONCLUSIONS: In the vast majority of children, the long-term prognosis of idiopathic epilepsy is favorable. More than half of the patients attain seizure freedom immediately and their clinical course is considered "excellent". About one fifth exhibit either an improving or a fluctuating course. Early seizure onset, multiple seizure types and status epilepticus are predictive of an initial poor response to treatment in children with idiopathic epilepsy. Initial non-response to treatment, multiple seizure types and history of migraine are determinants of a less favorable final outcome after long-term follow-up.

Alternate JournalBMC Neurol
PubMed ID24350775
PubMed Central IDPMC3878358


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