open access

Vol 18, No 2 (2011)
Case Reports
Published online: 2011-03-10
Get Citation

Sudden unexpected death in an adolescent with epilepsy: All roads lead to the heart?

Kylvia G.F.D. Pinto, Fulvio A. Scorza, Ricardo M. Arida, Esper A. Cavalheiro, Luciana D. Martins, Helio R. Machado, Américo C. Sakamoto, Vera C. Terra
Cardiol J 2011;18(2):194-196.

open access

Vol 18, No 2 (2011)
Case Reports
Published online: 2011-03-10

Abstract

The incidence of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) has been estimated from 0.5-1.4/1,000 person-years in people with treated epilepsy, and 9/1,000 person-years in candidates for epilepsy surgery. Potential risk factors for SUDEP include: age, early onset of epilepsy, duration of epilepsy, uncontrolled seizures, seizure type and winter temperatures. The arrythmogenic side-effect of antiepileptic drugs and seizures may increase the risk of SUDEP. In this report, we describe a patient with prolonged post-ictal tachycardia in EEG video recordings with a typical case of SUDEP: a 16-year-old boy with medically intractable complex partial seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed left mesial temporal sclerosis. During non-invasive video-EEG monitoring, the patient presented a post-ictal heart rate increased for five hours. Two months after video-EEG, he died from SUDEP during a tonic-clonic secondary generalized seizure. The possibility of cardiac involvement in the pathogenesis of SUDEP has been suggested by many studies. Evaluation of this patient with EEG-video monitoring, including measurement of heart rate, contributed to an identification of ictal tachycardia that may have played a role in the SUDEP. Premature mortality seems to be increased in patients with epilepsy, and cardiac abnormalities may be a possible cause of SUDEP. (Cardiol J 2011; 18, 2: 194-196)

Abstract

The incidence of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) has been estimated from 0.5-1.4/1,000 person-years in people with treated epilepsy, and 9/1,000 person-years in candidates for epilepsy surgery. Potential risk factors for SUDEP include: age, early onset of epilepsy, duration of epilepsy, uncontrolled seizures, seizure type and winter temperatures. The arrythmogenic side-effect of antiepileptic drugs and seizures may increase the risk of SUDEP. In this report, we describe a patient with prolonged post-ictal tachycardia in EEG video recordings with a typical case of SUDEP: a 16-year-old boy with medically intractable complex partial seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed left mesial temporal sclerosis. During non-invasive video-EEG monitoring, the patient presented a post-ictal heart rate increased for five hours. Two months after video-EEG, he died from SUDEP during a tonic-clonic secondary generalized seizure. The possibility of cardiac involvement in the pathogenesis of SUDEP has been suggested by many studies. Evaluation of this patient with EEG-video monitoring, including measurement of heart rate, contributed to an identification of ictal tachycardia that may have played a role in the SUDEP. Premature mortality seems to be increased in patients with epilepsy, and cardiac abnormalities may be a possible cause of SUDEP. (Cardiol J 2011; 18, 2: 194-196)
Get Citation

Keywords

sudden death; epilepsy; EEG; heart

About this article
Title

Sudden unexpected death in an adolescent with epilepsy: All roads lead to the heart?

Journal

Cardiology Journal

Issue

Vol 18, No 2 (2011)

Pages

194-196

Published online

2011-03-10

Bibliographic record

Cardiol J 2011;18(2):194-196.

Keywords

sudden death
epilepsy
EEG
heart

Authors

Kylvia G.F.D. Pinto
Fulvio A. Scorza
Ricardo M. Arida
Esper A. Cavalheiro
Luciana D. Martins
Helio R. Machado
Américo C. Sakamoto
Vera C. Terra

Important: This website uses cookies. More >>

The cookies allow us to identify your computer and find out details about your last visit. They remembering whether you've visited the site before, so that you remain logged in - or to help us work out how many new website visitors we get each month. Most internet browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can change the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer.

By "Via Medica sp. z o.o." sp.k., ul. Świętokrzyska 73, 80–180 Gdańsk, Poland
tel.:+48 58 320 94 94, fax:+48 58 320 94 60, e-mail: viamedica@viamedica.pl