Treatment of electrical status epilepticus in sleep: A pooled analysis of 575 cases

Bart Van Den Munckhof, Violet Van Dee, Liora Sagi, Roberto H. Caraballo, Pierangelo Veggiotti, Elina Liukkonen, Tobias Loddenkemper, Iván Sánchez Fernández, Marga Buzatu, Christine Bulteau, Kees P J Braun, Floor E. Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Epileptic encephalopathy with electrical status epilepticus in sleep (ESES) is a pediatric epilepsy syndrome with sleep-induced epileptic discharges and acquired impairment of cognition or behavior. Treatment of ESES is assumed to improve cognitive outcome. The aim of this study is to create an overview of the current evidence for different treatment regimens in children with ESES syndrome. Methods A literature search using PubMed and Embase was performed. Articles were selected that contain original treatment data of patients with ESES syndrome. Authors were contacted for additional information. Individual patient data were collected, coded, and analyzed using logistic regression analysis. The three predefined main outcome measures were improvement in cognitive function, electroencephalography (EEG) pattern, and any improvement (cognition or EEG). Results The literature search yielded 1,766 articles. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 112 articles and 950 treatments in 575 patients could be analyzed. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs, n = 495) were associated with improvement (i.e., cognition or EEG) in 49% of patients, benzodiazepines (n = 171) in 68%, and steroids (n = 166) in 81%. Surgery (n = 62) resulted in improvement in 90% of patients. In a subgroup analysis of patients who were consecutively reported (585 treatments in 282 patients), we found improvement in a smaller proportion treated with AEDs (34%), benzodiazepines (59%), and steroids (75%), whereas the improvement percentage after surgery was preserved (93%). Possible predictors of improved outcome were treatment category, normal development before ESES onset, and the absence of structural abnormalities. Significance Although most included studies were small and retrospective and their heterogeneity allowed analysis of only qualitative outcome data, this pooled analysis suggests superior efficacy of steroids and surgery in encephalopathy with ESES.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1738-1746
Number of pages9
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Continuous spikes and waves during sleep
  • Epilepsy
  • Landau-Kleffner syndrome
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


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