UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Infantile Spasms (West Syndrome)

Posted: 4/30/2010 by Rose Chasm, MD (Updated: 2/23/2024)
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  • seizure disorder occuring in infants and children <1 year of age
  • mostly occur between ages 4-8 months
  • classic spasm is sudden, simultaneous flexion of the head and trunk with felxion and adduction of the extremities (salaam attack Blitz-krampf)
  • occurs in clusters of diminishing severity
  • initiated or aggrevated by transition from sleep to wakefulness or emotions
  • EEG demonstrates hypsarrhythmia: high-voltage, irregular, slow waves occuring out of synch with multiple foci
  • most resolve over time without therapy, but most children have some level of mental retardation or other seizure disorder