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Epidemiology of West syndrome in Singapore

      Abstract

      The incidence of West syndrome (WS) was determined by a search of reports of electroencephalograms (EEG) recorded in 1998 and 1999 in all public hospitals in Singapore. Amongst records of patients born in 1998, nine were found with EEG features of hypsarrhythmia or modified hypsarrhythmia with onset of seizures between January 1,1998 and December 31, 1999. The medical records of these patients were reviewed. The population of children born in 1998 was 43,664. In 1998 and 1999, 67% of all hospital admissions for patients 2 years or younger in Singapore were in public hospitals. The cumulative incidence of WS in Singapore corrected for the percentage of hospital admissions to public hospitals was 3.1/10,000 live births. The corrected cumulative incidences in Chinese, Malays and Indians were 2.7, 3.1 and 3.3 per 10,000, respectively. Three cases were idiopathic; three were due to congenital structural lesions of the brain; one each had periventricular leucomalacia, intracranial hemorrhage and severe intrauterine growth retardation. None of the patients were normal at follow up. The three patients with idiopathic WS had mild global developmental delay and the other six cases had cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation. With the best modern medical treatment, possibly only two of the nine cases of WS may have been prevented.

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