PMID: 7088639Jul 1, 1982Paper

Seizures with apnea in children

K WatanabeM Maehara


Five children who had apneic attacks as a manifestation of epileptic seizures are reported. In three children, the apneic attacks were the sole symptom of epileptic fits. The other two children had additional types of seizures. The apneic seizures usually lasted one to two minutes and were characterized by respiratory embarrassment rather than complete arrest. These seizures are usually accompanied by cyanosis which appears early during the course of the attack. Although consciousness seemed to be impaired, this was difficult to assess accurately in infants. The ictal EEGs disclosed paroxysmal discharges of focal onset in all cases, consisting of high amplitude theta-waves, gradually mixed with or replaced by sharp waves or spikes in some and fast waves followed by slower waves in others. These occurred in temporal areas in three patients and in frontal and central areas in one patient each. Interictal EEGs, however, revealed paroxysmal discharges in only one patient. Apneic attacks in these infants are considered to be an integral part of the manifestations of complex partial seizures originating mostly in the limbic system.

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