Long term outcome of benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes: Dutch Study of Epilepsy in Childhood
Purpose: To determine long-term outcome in a cohort of children with newly diagnosed benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS). Methods: 29 children with BECTS were included in the Dutch Study of Epilepsy in Childhood. Each child was followed for 5 years, and subsequently contacted 12-17 years after enrolment to complete a structured questionnaire. Twenty children had typical BECTS, nine had atypical BECTS (age at onset <4 years, developmental delay or learning difficulties at inclusion, other seizure types, atypical EEG abnormalities). Results: Mean age at onset of epilepsy was 8.0 years with slight male preponderance. Most common seizure-types before enrolment were generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) and simple partial seizures; in 86% of the children seizures occurred during sleep. After 12-17 years, 96% had a terminal remission (TRF) of more than 5 years and 89% of more than 10 years. Mean duration of epilepsy was 2.7 years; mean age at reaching TRFwas 10.6 years. Many children (63%) had experienced one or more (secondary) GTCS. Antiepileptic drugs were used by 79% of the children with a mean duration of 3.0 years. None of the children seemed to have developed learning problems or an arrest of cognitive development during follow-up. No significant differences were observed in patient characteristics or outcome between children with typical BECTS and children with atypical BECTS. Conclusions: All children in our cohort, both those with typical and atypical BECTS, had a very good prognosis with high remission rates after 12-17 years. None of the predictive factors for disease course and outcome observed in earlier studies (other seizure types, age at onset, multiple seizures at onset) were prognostic in our cohort.