Apneic neonatal seizures can present as apparent life-threatening events. We report a newborn with unexplained episodes of apnea associated with cyanosis and desaturation, starting on the first day postpartum. Biochemical tests were normal. Central nervous system infections as well as abnormalities of upper airways and cardiovascular system were excluded. Brain monitoring using amplitude-integrated electroencephalography (aEEG) was inconclusive. Continuous monitoring using video EEG revealed epileptic seizures originating from the left temporal region as the cause of the apneas. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain showed a developmental malformation of the left frontal and temporal lobes. The patient became seizure free after treatment with antiepileptic medication. This report illustrates that brain monitoring using amplitude-integrated EEG alone could miss focal neonatal seizures. When clinical suspicion of apneic seizures is high in infants with apparent life threatening events, multichannel polygraphic video-EEG monitoring is indicated. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can be life saving.

Amplitude-integrated EEG, Apneic seizures, EEG, Neonatal
dx.doi.org/10.1177/0883073813481403, hdl.handle.net/1765/61729
Journal of Child Neurology
Department of Neurology

Khajeh, L, Cherian, P.J, Swarte, R.M.C, Smit, L.S, & Lequin, M.H. (2014). The puzzle of apparent life-threatening events in a healthy newborn. Journal of Child Neurology, 29(7), 969–972. doi:10.1177/0883073813481403