Impact of therapeutic hypothermia on infantile spasms: an observational cohort study

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Abu Dhais, Farah
McNamara, Brian
O'Mahony, Olivia
McSweeney, Niamh
Livingstone, Vicki
Murray, Deirdre M.
Boylan, Geraldine B.
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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Aim: To establish the incidence of infantile spasms in children in the southern region of the Republic of Ireland and to compare the incidence of infantile spasms before and after the introduction of therapeutic hypothermia in infants with hypoxic‐ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Method: Children born between 2003 and 2015 and diagnosed with infantile spasms (epileptic spasms with or without hypsarrhythmia) in the first 2 years of life were identified through audits of electroencephalography reports and paediatric neurology patient lists. Data on live births were obtained from the regional hospital statistics databases. Medical charts of infantile spasm cases were reviewed for demographic information, diagnostic workup results, treatment response, disease course, and developmental outcome. Results: Forty‐two infants with infantile spasms were identified. The cumulative incidence of infantile spasms up to the age of 2 years was 4.01 per 10 000 live births. Difference due to sex was minimal (22 males, 20 females) and most infants were delivered at or near term with gestational ages ranging between 30.0 and 41.8 weeks (median [interquartile range] 39.6wks [38.1–40.0wks]). The aetiology for infantile spasms was identified in almost two‐thirds of cases, with HIE being the single most common cause (n=7). Other causes included chromosomal and monogenetic abnormalities (n=8). Infantile spasms occurred in moderate and severe grades of HIE, with a significantly higher incidence in those with severe HIE (p=0.029). Infants with severe HIE who did not receive therapeutic hypothermia were six times more likely to develop infantile spasms compared to those who did, but the difference was not statistically significant (4 out of 16 vs 1 out of 24, p=0.138). Interpretation: This study provides detailed information about infantile spasms before and after the introduction of therapeutic hypothermia. HIE severity is a risk factor for the development of infantile spasms. The introduction of therapeutic hypothermia may have had an impact, but the effect was hard to ascertain in this cohort due to the small number of infants.
Hypsarrhythmia , Spasm , Infantile , West , Salaam/salam , Epileptic encephalopathy
Abu Dhais, F., McNamara, B., O'Mahony, O., McSweeney, N., Livingstone, V., Murray, D. M. and Boylan, G. B., 'Impact of therapeutic hypothermia on infantile spasms: an observational cohort study', Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, (8pp.) [In press]. DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.14331