Acute encephalopathy in children with Dravet syndrome

Akihisa Okumura, Mitsugu Uematsu, George Imataka, Manabu Tanaka, Tohru Okanishi, Tetsuo Kubota, Akira Sudo, Jun Tohyama, Megumi Tsuji, Iori Ohmori, Misako Naiki, Ayako Hiraiwa-Sofue, Hitoshi Sato, Shinji Saitoh, Toshiaki Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The occurrence of acute encephalopathy in children with Dravet syndrome has been reported sporadically. This study clarified the features of acute encephalopathy in children with Dravet syndrome. Methods: Through the mailing list of the Annual Zao Conference on Pediatric Neurology, we collected 15 patients with clinically diagnosed Dravet syndrome, who had acute encephalopathy, defined as a condition with decreased consciousness with or without other neurologic symptoms, such as seizures, lasting for >24 h in association with infectious symptoms. Key Findings: There were seven boys and eight girls. A mutation of the SCN1A gene was present in nine (truncation in six and missense in three). The frequency of seizures during the 3 months before the onset of acute encephalopathy was monthly in seven children and none in three. The median age at the onset of acute encephalopathy was 44 months (range 8-184 months). All children had status epilepticus followed by coma as the initial manifestation. Two different distributions of brain lesions were observed on diffusion-weighted images during the acute phase: cerebral cortex-dominant lesions with or without deep gray matter involvement and subcortical-dominant lesions. Four children died; nine survived with severe sequelae, and two had moderate sequelae. Significance: We must be aware that acute encephalopathy is an important complication in children with Dravet syndrome, and associated with fulminant clinical manifestations and a poor outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Acute encephalopathy
  • Dravet syndrome
  • MRI
  • SCN1A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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