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How to Manage Electrical Status Epilepticus in Sleep

Veggiotti, Pierangelo; Pera, Maria Carmela; Olivotto, Sara; De Giorgis, Valentina

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: February 2016 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 3–9
doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000235
Invited Review

Summary: Electrical status epilepticus in sleep is an age-dependent syndrome with the characteristic pattern of continuous spike and waves during non–rapid eye movement sleep. Most children can present developmental deterioration. The demonstration of the EEG pattern has to rely on all night long EEG recordings. A comprehensive neuropsychologic evaluation with periodic reassessment should be performed. For the idiopathic forms of electrical status epilepticus in sleep, clobazam could be considered as the first-line therapy; in the other cases, corticosteroids, in particular intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy, remain the most effective and should be considered the therapy of choice.

*Department of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, C. Mondino National Neurological Institute, Pavia, Italy; and

Brain and Behaviour Department, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Pierangelo Veggiotti, MD, Department of Child Neurology and Psychiatry C. Mondino National Neurological Institute, Pavia, Italy; e-mail:

© 2016 by the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society