Saturday, June 06, 2009

Ictal asystole: clinical characteristics & SUDEP

Neurology 2007; 69: 434-441.

Occurred in .27 % of patients undergoing VEEG. There was a sudden loss of atonia 42 seconds into the seizure with characteristic EEG findings of hypoperfusion. It occurred in TLE and extratemporal epilepsy. Clinical predisposing characteristics were not identified. Patients should be sent for pacemakers to avoid SUDEP.

Other predisposing factors for SUDEP are long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, and catecholaminergic ventricular arrythmia. Absence of treatment or insufficient treatment are neurologic risk factors. 

Carbamazepine, which can decrease heart rate variability, has been proposed as a risk factor for SUDEP.  SUDEP in most cases is triggered by a GTCS.  Four cases that were monitored during SUDEP showed EEG flattening before cardiorespiratory changes.  Another showed seizure triggered ventricular fibrillation.  Sleeping prone may be a risk factor,

Nice review article:
Tomson T, Nashef L, Ryvlin P.  Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy:  current knowledge and future directions.  Lancet Neurology 2008; 7:1021-1031.

More pearls  Kloster R. et al. JNNP 1999; 67:439-444

risk factors
male  predominance
Laying prone (17/24) usually during sleep.
At least one AED is subtherapeutic
Pulmonary edema is present in 26/42
Seizure just before death in 28/39

Alcohol levels were usually zero.

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