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Pediatr Neurol. 2013 Sep;49(3):163-170.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2013.04.027.

Long-term response to high-dose diazepam treatment in continuous spikes and waves during sleep.

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1
Department of Neurology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study evaluated whether the reduction in epileptiform activity after treatment with high-dose diazepam in continuous spikes and waves during sleep persists over time.

PATIENTS:

Patients aged 1 to 21 years with continuous spikes and waves during sleep who received high-dose nocturnal diazepam and who had electroencephalogram follow-up were included. Twenty-nine patients met the inclusion criteria and underwent a total of 48 high-dose diazepam treatment cycles.

RESULTS:

An overnight reduction of the spike wave percentage of at least 25% (i.e., 75-50%) occurred in 29 cycles (20 patients), and persisted within 6 months in 16 of 29 cycles (12 patients), but returned to baseline in three of 29 cycles (three patients). An overnight reduction of at least 50% (i.e., 75-25%) occurred in 15 cycles (13 patients), and persisted within 6 months in eight of 15 cycles (eight patients), but returned to baseline in three cycles (three patients). Twenty of 29 cycles that responded in the short term had persistent response on follow-up. Thirteen cycles of treatment were associated with mild side effects that did not recur with repeated treatment cycles.

CONCLUSIONS:

Treatment with high-dose diazepam reduced epileptiform activity in continuous spikes and waves during sleep in the short term, and improvement persisted for several months in most cycles. Short-term response predicted persistence of this effect on subsequent follow-up.

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