Recent studies have shown a possible coexistence of absence seizures with other forms of epilepsy. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the possible contemporary or subsequent presence of childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) and benign epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes (BECTS) in pediatric epileptic patients.
A PubMed systematic search indexed for MEDLINE, PubMed and EMBASE was undertaken to identify studies in children including articles written between 1996 and 2015. Retrospective studies, meta-analysis and case reports were included. The list of references of all the relevant articles was also studied. The date of our last search was December 2015.
Review of the literature revealed 19 cases, 8 females and 11 males, reporting a consecutive or contemporary coexistence of CAE and BECTS within the same patients. Patient's age ranged between 4 and 12 years. Three out of 19 patients presented concomitant features of both syndromes, whereas 16 patients experienced the two syndromes at different times.
BECTS and CAE may be pathophysio-logically related, and the two epileptic phenotypes may indicate a neurobiological continuum. Further studies are needed to elucidate a probable genetic or functional link between partial and primarily generalized electro-clinical patterns in idiopathic childhood epilepsies.
Key words: absence seizures; benign epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes; childhood abscence epilepsy