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Overnight Video-Polysomnographic Studies in Children with Intractable Epileptic Encephalopathies

Natasa Nenadic-Baranasic, Romana Gjergja-Juraski, Ivan Lehman, Mirjana Turkalj, Boro Nogalo, Nina Barisic

Unit for Sleep Disorders in Children, Srebrnjak Children’s Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:5405-5411

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.908911

Available online:

Published: 2018-08-04

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess sleep architecture and respiration during sleep in children with intractable epileptic encephalopathies using overnight video-polysomnography (V-PSG).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between 2015 to 2017 overnight V-PSG recordings were made for 31 children (22 boys and 9 girls) with intractable epileptic encephalopathy with a mean age of 6.78±3.61 years and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 15.83±3.16 kg/m3. Thirty-one healthy children were matched for sex, age, and BMI as the control group. The phases of sleep studied included rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and non-REM (NREM) phases NREM 1, NREM 2, and NREM 3. Respiratory function during sleep was evaluated.
RESULTS: Children with epileptic encephalopathies receiving antiepileptic treatment had significantly decreased total sleep time (TST) (p=0.038), significantly increased percentage of NREM1 (p=0.033), and a significantly lower percentage of total REM (p<0.0001), compared with the control group. All children 31/31 (100%) with epileptic encephalopathies had interictal epileptiform discharges, and 4/31 (12.9%) had ictal events. The number of respiratory events did not differ significantly between the two groups (p=0.118), but children in the epileptic encephalopathy group had a significantly shorter average duration (p=0.008) and longest duration (p=0.048) of respiratory events. Average (p=0.006) and least (p=0.0004) oxygen saturation (SatO2) were significantly lower in children with epileptic encephalopathies compared with the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: Children with epileptic encephalopathies had altered sleep architecture and marked oxygen desaturation, which supports the need for referral of children with epileptic encephalopathy for overnight sleep evaluation.

Keywords: Disabled Children, Epilepsy, Polysomnography, Sleep Disorders