Outcome of children with juvenile absence epilepsy

Eliel Tovia, Hadassa Goldberg-Stern, Eli Shahar, Uri Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The incidence and natural history of childhood absence epilepsy are well documented, but those of juvenile absence epilepsy are poorly delineated. We conducted a retrospective chart study to evaluate the incidence and outcome of patients with juvenile absence epilepsy by retrieving the medical records of consecutive patients with juvenile absence epilepsy who were evaluated in three pediatric neurology outpatient clinics in Israel. Inclusion criteria included the onset of epilepsy after the age of 10 years and follow-up until at least 15 years of age. The patients with an electroencephalogram (EEG) suggestive of myoclonic epilepsy (polyspike and wave) were excluded from the study. Seventeen patients (10 female and 7 male) fulfilled the inclusion criteria for juvenile absence epilepsy. They presented with epilepsy at a mean age of 11.94 years (range 10-16.5 years). The mean duration of follow-up was 6.05 years (range 2-12 years). Five patients (29.4%) had a family history of epilepsy. All 17 patients had a normal neurodevelopmental status. Eight patients (47%) experienced generalized tonic-clonic seizures. At follow-up, eight patients (43.7%) were seizure free. Only three (37.5%) of the patients who experienced generalized tonic-clonic seizures were seizure free during follow-up compared with five (55.5%) patients without generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Our results indicate that the outcome of patients with juvenile absence epilepsy is less favorable than children with childhood absence epilepsy and that the presence of generalized tonic-clonic seizures is a predictor for poorer outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-768
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


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