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Seizure. 1999 Dec;8(8):480-4.

Ictus expectoratus: a sign of complex partial seizures usually of non-dominant temporal lobe origin.

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Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Spitting (or expectoration) is rarely seen with seizures. In Western society, spitting is a striking behavioral aberration. A 13-year-old child had intermittent agitated behavior, episodes of rage, spitting and confusion lasting up to 2 minutes. He stood up in church and told the preacher to 'shut up and sit down'. Epilepsy monitoring revealed spitting with polysharp and spike seizures resolved over the right temporal lobe. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a right temporal lobe ganglioglioma. Spitting seizures resolved after resection. Ictal expectoration is rare. It may occur with epigastric aura, nausea, chewing, swallowing and fumbling. Literature review disclosed 17 cases, 12 of which arose from the non-dominant hemisphere. Most regressed with surgery and anticonvulsants.

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