Monday, November 2, 2015


van den Munckhof B, van Dee V, Sagi L, Caraballo RH, Veggiotti P, Liukkonen E,
Loddenkemper T, Sánchez Fernández I, Buzatu M, Bulteau C, Braun KP, Jansen FE.
Treatment of electrical status epilepticus in sleep: A pooled analysis of 575
cases. Epilepsia. 2015 Nov;56(11):1738-46.



Epileptic encephalopathy with electrical status epilepticus in sleep (ESES) is a pediatric epilepsy syndrome with sleep-induced epileptic discharges and acquired impairment of cognition or behavior. Treatment of ESES is assumed to improve cognitive outcome. The aim of this study is to create an overview of the current evidence for different treatment regimens in children with ESES syndrome.


A literature search using PubMed and Embase was performed. Articles were selected that contain original treatment data of patients with ESES syndrome. Authors were contacted for additional information. Individual patient data were collected, coded, and analyzed using logistic regression analysis. The three predefined main outcome measures were improvement in cognitive function, electroencephalography (EEG) pattern, and any improvement (cognition or EEG).


The literature search yielded 1,766 articles. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 112 articles and 950 treatments in 575 patients could be analyzed. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs, n = 495) were associated with improvement (i.e., cognition or EEG) in 49% of patients, benzodiazepines (n = 171) in 68%, and steroids (n = 166) in 81%. Surgery (n = 62) resulted in improvement in 90% of patients. In a subgroup analysis of patients who were consecutively reported (585 treatments in 282 patients), we found improvement in a smaller proportion treated with AEDs (34%), benzodiazepines (59%), and steroids (75%), whereas the improvement percentage after surgery was preserved (93%). Possible predictors of improved outcome were treatment category, normal development before ESES onset, and the absence of structural abnormalities.


Although most included studies were small and retrospective and their heterogeneity allowed analysis of only qualitative outcome data, this pooled analysis suggests superior efficacy of steroids and surgery in encephalopathy with ESES.


  1. Caraballo RH, Veggiotti P, Kaltenmeier MC, Piazza E, Gamboni B, Lopez Avaria
    MF, Noli D, Adi J, Cersosimo R. Encephalopathy with status epilepticus during
    sleep or continuous spikes and waves during slow sleep syndrome: a multicenter,
    long-term follow-up study of 117 patients. Epilepsy Res. 2013



    To retrospectively analyze the electroclinical features, etiology, treatment and prognosis of 117 patients with encephalopathy with status epilepticus during sleep (ESES) or continuous spike and waves slow sleep (CSWSS) syndrome with a long-term follow-up.


    Charts of 117 patients with ESES/CSWSS syndrome followed between 1990 and 2012 were analyzed. Inclusion criteria were: (1) focal seizures or apparently generalized seizures and focal EEG epileptiform discharges; (2) further occurrence of atypical absences, and myoclonic, atonic, and/or generalized seizures; (3) cognitive impairment and/or behavior disturbances; (4) continuous spike-and-wave discharges during slow sleep in more than 85% of non-REM sleep. Patients with spike-and-wave discharges in less than 85% of slow sleep were also analyzed.


    'Mean follow-up from onset of ESES/CSWSS was 13 years (range, 2-22 years) in the symptomatic/structural and non-idiopathic group consisting of 79 children and 10.5 years (range, 2-21 years) in the idiopathic group consisting of 38 children. The comparison of clinical findings and localization of paroxysmal EEG abnormalities (focal, multifocal, or generalized) at the different stages (before, during, and after ESES/CSWSS) and the percentage of spike-wave index during ESES/CSWSS between the symptomatic/structural and non-idiopathic and the idiopathic group was not statistically significant.


    ESES/CSWSS syndrome is an epileptic encephalopathy with similar electroclinical findings in children with a >85% spike-wave index and those with a <85% spike-wave index. In this series of patients, the most commonly used treatments were clobazam, ethosuximide, sulthiame, alone or in combination. In refractory cases, high-dose steroids were administered. Among the AED responders, the idiopathic cases returned to normality and the structural cases returned to baseline cognitive development.

  2. Yilmaz S, Serdaroglu G, Akcay A, Gokben S. Clinical characteristics and
    outcome of children with electrical status epilepticus during slow wave sleep. J
    Pediatr Neurosci. 2014 May;9(2):105-9.



    Electrical status epilepticus in slow wave sleep (ESES) is a rare, age-related, self-limited disorder characterized as epilepsy with different seizure types, neuropsychological impairment in the form of global or selective regression of cognitive functions, motor impairment, and typical electroencephalographic (EEG) findings of continuous epileptic activity occupying 85% of nonrapid eye movement sleep.


    The aim is to examine the clinical and electrophysiological findings and treatment modalities of children with ESES and to evaluate the outcome of the disorder.


    Fourteen patients with a diagnosis of electrical status epilepticus during slow wave sleep and followed-up at least 2 years were included.


    Pearson correlation test was used in the study.


    Among the 14 patients, eight of them had normal mental development before ESES. Twelve of the patients mentioned cognitive impairment and decline in school performance during ESES. After ESES, seven patients had mental retardation in different severity. One of these patients was diagnosed with benign partial epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes and had normal intelligence quotient level prior to ESES. The diagnosis of ESES was made after newly occurred different seizure types in four of the patients while two of the previously known epileptic patients presented with only severe psychiatric impairment. Valproic acid and carbamazepine were the mostly frequently used drugs before the onset of ESES. After at least 2 years of follow-up, seven patients were seizure free, but still taking antiepileptic treatment. Five patients were seizure free, while two of them had ongoing seizures despite antiepileptic therapy.


    ESES should be kept in mind in children with unexplained regression or stagnation of development associated with seizures or not. Sleep EEGs should be performed for timely diagnosis, proper treatment and prevention of permanent cognitive impairment.

  3. See: Ketogenic diet for epileptic encephalopathy with electrical status epilepticus during slow sleep 5/6/15

  4. Fine AL, Wirrell EC, Wong-Kisiel LC, Nickels KC. Acetazolamide for electrical
    status epilepticus in slow-wave sleep. Epilepsia. 2015 Sep;56(9):e134-8. doi:
    10.1111/epi.13101. Epub 2015 Jul 31.


    Electrical status epilepticus in slow-wave sleep (ESES) is characterized by nearly continuous spike-wave discharges during non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. ESES is present in Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) and continuous spike and wave in slow-wave sleep (CSWS). Sulthiame has demonstrated reduction in spike-wave index (SWI) in ESES, but is not available in the United States. Acetazolamide (AZM) is readily available and has similar pharmacologic properties. Our aims were to assess the effect of AZM on SWI and clinical response in children with LKS and CSWS. Children with LKS or CSWS treated with AZM at our institution were identified retrospectively. Pre- and posttherapy electroencephalography (EEG) studies were evaluated for SWI. Parental and teacher report of clinical improvement was recorded. Six children met criteria for inclusion. Three children (50%) demonstrated complete resolution or SWI <5% after AZM. All children had improvement in clinical seizures and subjective improvement in communication skills and school performance. Five of six children had subjective improvement in hyperactivity and attention. AZM is a potentially effective therapy for children with LKS and CSWS. This study lends to the knowledge of potential therapies that can be used for these disorders, which can be challenging for families and providers.