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Pediatr Neurol. 2002 Nov;27(5):388-91.

Successful treatment of Ohtahara syndrome with chloral hydrate.

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Department of Pediatric Neurology, Charles University, Second Medical School, Prague, Czech Republic.


We present a patient with early infantile epileptic encephalopathy with suppression bursts (Ohtahara syndrome) with an excellent response to chloral hydrate to draw attention to a possible role of the "old" drug in the treatment of intractable epilepsy. Chloral hydrate (58 mg/kg/day) was used for a short-term administration in a 5-week-old female with typical features of cryptogenic Ohtahara syndrome after the failure of conventional antiepileptic drugs. Seizures disappeared in the course of 24 hours after the launch of chloral hydrate therapy and have not recurred. Results of electroencephalogram studies of the child demonstrate marked improvement. Psychomotor development is significantly delayed. Detailed diagnostic tests have not revealed any metabolic or structural abnormalities of the brain. We conclude that chloral hydrate could be useful in the treatment of severe epileptic encephalopathies. Possible indications of the drug for intractable epilepsy treatment are discussed.

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