Send to

Choose Destination
J Child Neurol. 2017 Jul;32(8):774-788. doi: 10.1177/0883073817706028. Epub 2017 May 14.

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Management of a First Unprovoked Seizure in Children and Adolescents With a Focus on the Revised Diagnostic Criteria for Epilepsy.

Author information

1 Division of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology, Department of Neurology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
2 Department of Neurology, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Wake Forest Medical School, Winston Salem, NC, USA.
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
4 Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


By definition, unprovoked seizures are not precipitated by an identifiable factor, such as fever or trauma. A thorough history and physical examination are essential to caring for pediatric patients with a potential first unprovoked seizure. Differential diagnosis, EEG, neuroimaging, laboratory tests, and initiation of treatment will be reviewed. Treatment is typically initiated after 2 unprovoked seizures, or after 1 seizure in select patients with distinct epilepsy syndromes. Recent expansion of the definition of epilepsy by the ILAE allows for the diagnosis of epilepsy to be made after the first seizure if the clinical presentation and supporting diagnostic studies suggest a greater than 60% chance of a second seizure. This review summarizes the current literature on the diagnostic and therapeutic management of first unprovoked seizure in children and adolescents while taking into consideration the revised diagnostic criteria of epilepsy.


electroencephalography; epilepsy; neuroimaging; seizures; treatment

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center