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J Child Neurol. 2005 Dec;20 Suppl 1:S1-56; quiz S59-60.

Treatment of pediatric epilepsy: expert opinion, 2005.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pediatric Neurology, Le Bonheur Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38105, USA. jwheless@utmem.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Childhood epilepsies are a heterogeneous group of conditions that differ in diagnostic criteria and management and have dramatically different outcomes. Despite increasing data on treatment of epilepsy, research findings on childhood epilepsy are more limited and many clinical questions remain unanswered, so that clinicians must often rely on clinical judgment. In such clinical situations, expert opinion can be especially helpful.

METHODS:

A survey on pediatric epilepsy and seizures (33 questions and 645 treatment options) was sent to 41 U.S. physicians specializing in pediatric epilepsy, 39 (95%) of whom completed it. In some questions, the experts were asked to recommend overall treatment approaches for specific syndromes (the order in which they would use certain strategies). Most of the questions asked the experts to rate options using a modified version of the RAND 9-point scale for medical appropriateness. Consensus was defined as a non-random distribution of scores by chi-square test, with ratings used to assign a categorical rank (first line/usually appropriate, second line/equivocal, and third line/usually not appropriate) to each option.

RESULTS:

Valproate was treatment of choice for symptomatic myoclonic and generalized tonic-clonic seizures except in the very young, with lamotrigine and topiramate also first line (usually appropriate). Zonisamide was first line only if the child also has myoclonic seizures. For initial monotherapy for complex partial seizures, oxcarbazepine and carbamazepine were treatments of choice, with lamotrigine and levetiracetam also first line. As initial therapy for infantile spasms caused by tuberous sclerosis, viagabatrin was treatment of choice, with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) also first line. As initial therapy for infantile spasms that are symptomatic in etiology, ACTH was treatment of choice, with topiramate also first line. As initial therapy for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, valproate was treatment of choice, with topiramate and lamotrigine also first line. For acute treatment of a prolonged febrile seizure or cluster of seizures, rectal diazepam was treatment of choice. For benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes, oxcarbazepine and carbamazepine were treatments of choice, with gabapentin, lamotrigine, and levetiracetam also first line. For childhood absence epilepsy, ethosuximide was treatment of choice, with valproate and lamotrigine also first line. For juvenile absence epilepsy, valproate and lamotrigine were treatments of choice. For juvenile myoclonic epilepsy in adolescent males, valproate and lamotrigine were treatments of choice, with topiramate also first line; for juvenile myoclonic epilepsy in adolescent females, lamotrigine was treatment of choice, with topiramate and valproate other first-line options. As initial therapy for neonatal status epilepticus, intravenous phenobarbital was treatment of choice, with intravenous lorazepam or fosphenytoin also first line. As initial therapy for all types of pediatric status epilepticus, lorazepam was treatment of choice, with intravenous diazepam also first line. For generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus, rectal diazepam and fosphenytoin were also first line; for complex partial status epilepticus, fosphenytoin was also first line; and for absence status epilepticus, intravenous valproate was also first line.

CONCLUSION:

The expert panel reached consensus on many treatment options. Within the limits of expert opinion and with the understanding that new research data may take precedence, the experts' recommendations provide helpful guidance in situations where the medical literature is scant or lacking. The information in this report should be evaluated in conjunction with evidence-based findings.

PMID:
16615562
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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