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KCNT1 epilepsy with migrating focal seizures shows a temporal sequence with poor outcome, high mortality and SUDEP

Abstract : Epilepsy of infancy with migrating focal seizures was first described in 1995. Fifteen years later, KCNT1 gene mutations were identified as the major disease-causing gene of this disease. Currently, the data on epilepsy of infancy with migrating focal seizures associated with KCNT1 mutations are heterogeneous and many questions remain unanswered including the prognosis and the long-term outcome especially regarding epilepsy, neurological and developmental status and the presence of microcephaly. The aim of this study was to assess data from patients with epilepsy in infancy with migrating focal seizures with KCNT1 mutations to refine the phenotype spectrum and the outcome. We used mind maps based on medical reports of children followed in the network of the French reference centre for rare epilepsies and we developed family surveys to assess the long-term outcome. Seventeen patients were included [age median (25th-75th percentile) 4 (2-15) years, sex ratio 1.4, length of follow-up 4 (2-15) years]. Seventy-one per cent started at 6 (1-52) days with sporadic motor seizures (n = 12), increasing up to a stormy phase with long lasting migrating seizures at 57 (30-89) days. The others entered this stormy phase directly at 1 (1-23) day. Ten patients entered a consecutive phase at 1.3 (1-2.8) years where seizures persisted at least daily (n = 8), but presented different semiology brief and hypertonic with a nocturnal (n = 6) and clustered (n = 6) aspects. Suppression interictal patterns were identified on the EEG in 71% of patients (n = 12) sometimes from the first EEG (n = 6). Three patients received quinidine without reported efficacy. Long-term outcome was poor with neurological sequelae and active epilepsy except for one patient who had an early and long-lasting seizure-free period. Extracerebral symptoms probably linked with KCNT1 mutation were present, including arteriovenous fistula, dilated cardiomyopathy and precocious puberty. Eight patients (47%) had died at 3 (1.5-15.4) years including three from suspected sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Refining the electro-clinical characteristics and the temporal sequence of epilepsy in infancy with migrating focal seizures should help diagnosis of this epilepsy. A better knowledge of the outcome allows one to advise families and to define the appropriate follow-up and therapies. Extracerebral involvement should be investigated, in particular the cardiac system, as it may be involved in the high prevalence of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy in these cases.
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Mathieu Kuchenbuch, Giulia Barcia, Nicole Chemaly, Emilie Carme, Agathe Roubertie, et al.. KCNT1 epilepsy with migrating focal seizures shows a temporal sequence with poor outcome, high mortality and SUDEP. Brain - A Journal of Neurology , Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019, 142 (10), pp.2996-3008. ⟨10.1093/brain/awz240⟩. ⟨hal-02304375⟩

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