Clinical Electroencephalographic Biomarker for Impending Epilepsy in Asymptomatic Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Infants

Joyce Y. Wu, Jurriaan M. Peters, Monisha Goyal, Darcy Krueger, Mustafa Sahin, Hope Northrup, Kit Sing Au, Gary Cutter, E. Martina Bebin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Background We assessed the clinical utility of routine electroencephalography (EEG) in the prediction of epilepsy onset in asymptomatic infants with tuberous sclerosis complex. Methods This multicenter prospective observational study recruited infants younger than 7 months, seizure-free and on no antiepileptic drugs at enrollment, who all underwent serial physical examinations and video EEGs throughout the study. Parental education on seizure recognition was completed at the time of initial enrollment. Once seizure onset occurred, standard of care was applied, and subjects were followed up until 24 months. Results Forty patients were enrolled, 28 older than 12 months with completed EEG evaluation at the time of this interim analysis. Of those, 19 (67.8%) developed seizures. Epileptic spasms occurred in 10 (52.6%), focal seizures in five (26.3%), generalized tonic-clonic seizure in one (5.3%), and a combination of epileptic spasms and focal seizures in three (15.7%). Fourteen infants (73.6%) had the first emergence of epileptiform abnormalities on EEG at an average age 4.2 months, preceding seizure onset by a median of 1.9 months. Hypsarrhythmia or modified hypsarrhythmia was not found in any infant before onset of epileptic spasms. All children with epileptiform discharges subsequently developed epilepsy (100% positive predictive value), and the negative predictive value for not developing epilepsy after a normal EEG was 64%. Conclusions Serial routine EEGs in infants with tuberous sclerosis complex is a feasible strategy to identify individuals at high risk for epilepsy. The most frequent clinical presentation was epileptic spasms followed by focal seizures, and then a combination of both seizure types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric neurology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • EEG
  • epileptic spasms
  • partial seizures
  • video EEG use in epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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