Journal of Pediatric Epilepsy 2020; 09(01): 001-006
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1708809
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Outcome of West Syndrome: A Critical Review

Sudhir Adhikari
1  Department of Paediatrics, Chitwan Medical College, Bharatpur, Nepal
Deepa Gautam
2  Department of Radiation Oncology, BPKMCH, Chitwan, Nepal
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

26 December 2019

20 February 2020

Publication Date:
04 April 2020 (online)


West syndrome is a genetically heterogeneous electro-clinical syndrome starting in early infancy. Short-term goal of therapy is spasm control and with standard hormonal or vigabatrin treatment, spasms can be controlled in 60 to 80% of patients in 2 weeks to 3 months period. Hormonal treatment with oral steroid is an alternative therapy to injectable adrenocorticotropin hormone, especially in low resource areas. Vigabatrin is preferred in tuberous sclerosis patients. Long-term aim of treatment is sustained remission of seizures and better neurodevelopmental outcome. About 50 to 70% of children are spasm free for prolonged duration, but epilepsy with multiple seizure types including Lennox–Gastaut syndrome is evident in 20 to 40% of children in long-term follow-up. Though hypsarrhythmia is helpful for the diagnosis, prognostic role of the resolution of electroencephalographic abnormalities is still uncertain. Seizures can be controlled in 40 to 60% of the patients, but only 12 to 40% children have normal neurodevelopmental outcome and a third of children are left with severe disabilities. Children with unknown etiology and normal development at spasm onset have better clinical outcome. Young age at onset, nonstandard therapy have less favorable outcome. Surgery is helpful for spasm control in patients with structural lesions and refractory spasms even in the absence of structural lesions.


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