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Revista Medica Herediana

Print version ISSN 1018-130XOn-line version ISSN 1729-214X


ESPINOZA QUINTEROS, Iván et al. Absence Epilepsy at the Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia (1998 - 2002). Rev Med Hered [online]. 2004, vol.15, n.2, pp.88-94. ISSN 1018-130X.

Objectives: To describe clinical and epidemiological characteristics of absence seizures in children of Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia. Materials and Methods: This is a descriptive-retrospective study. We identified patients with absence seizures who were managed in ambulatory Pediatric Neurology Office between January 1998 and December 2002. Inclusion criteria: clinical manifestations of absence seizures and characteristic electroencephalogram. Exclusion: patients with brain injuries. Results: We included 33 patients (6.4%). The mean age at the beginning of disease was 6.6 years, 54.5% were female and the time of disease before the diagnosis: 12.5 months. 30.3% of cases had an antecedent of family seizures and 18.2% had antecedents of adverse perinatal events. 39.4% of patients presented simple absence and 60.6% complex absence. The 36.4% had initially an asymmetric bilateral pattern on electroencephalogram that turned into symmetric pattern posteriorly. Everyone received valproic acid. Adverse effects in 6% obliged us to discontinue this medication and 12% had to receive therapy combined by lack of control of seizure. Age, sex, seizure type, EEG, familiar or perinatal antecedents, did not influence in the clinical, electroencephalographic characteristics or response to therapy. Conclusion: Absence seizures represent 6.4% of all the epilepsies. The mean age was 6.6 years, the familiar antecedents are present in 30.3% of the patients and perinatal adverse events in 18.2%. The complex absences with automatism are most frequent and the valproic acid is an effective treatment. The time of disease before diagnosis was 12.5 months, thereby, we recommend more diffusion at level of parents, educators and personnel of health for opportune diagnosis and control. (Rev Med Hered 2004; 15:89-95).

Keywords : Epilepsy; absence seizures; child; disease before the diagnosis.

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