Mortality in children with epilepsy. A clinical prospective study

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Devilat Barros M, Rivera Gómez G, Gómez Muñoz V, and Sepulveda Olmos JP(2004) [Mortality in children with epilepsy. A clinical prospective study]. Rev Neurol 38:7 607–14.

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Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Mortality in patients with epilepsy is higher than the general population, but the data about children is not too extends. OBJECTIVES. To determine the risk of dying in epileptic children, the associated factors and the cause of death, as well as to target the support given to the family. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 1996 to 2002, sixteen children with epilepsy controlled in our centre died. Fifteen of them were included in our research according to a previous protocol. The data was token from our data bank, the clinical file and parents interview. RESULTS: The standard mortality rate was 3.21 (95% CI: 1.48 4.95). The main group had an early onset on their illness. Thirteen children had remote symptomatic epilepsy. Eleven had resistant or catastrophic epilepsy. The EEG was specific for epilepsy in 11 cases. Nine children were receiving politherapy. Eight patients had received three or more therapeutic schemes. Eight had pre mortem therapeutic blood levels of antiepileptic drugs. Ten patients die because of infection and five because of a sudden unexpected death. In one of them the sudden unexpected death was definite and was given in a pregnant teenager with a juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Other boy died soon after an earthquake. The assistance to the mourning elaboration was useful for the family. CONCLUSIONS: This children has a high risk of dying, it is associated to on early onset of severe, active, resistant and catastrophic epilepsy. The entire control of crisis should be the main target of treatment.

Keywords: cause, children, epilepsy, mortality, risk, sudden death


  • Study of deaths among children treated in epilepsy center over 6 year period, with five cases of sudden unexpected death.


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