Review Article| Volume 9, ISSUE 4, P358-360, 1987

Review: Neuroradiological aspects of infantile spasms

  • Bernd Ludwig
    Correspondence address: Priv.-Doz. Dr. Bernd Ludwig, Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Langenbeckstrasse 1, D-6500 Mainz, West Germany
    Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, West Germany
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      With the modern noninvasive brain imaging methods, cerebral lesions of different types and degrees can frequently be determined in infants with West syndrome. In CT examinations preceding the spasms and the ACTH therapy, “idiopathic” forms of infantile spasms were rare. The CT findings consistent with perinatal or postnatal encephalopathy were more frequent than those found with embryonic or fetal lesions alone. The fact that pathognomonic changes cannot be determined, may reflect the low specificity of CT diagnosis in infants with chronic CNS diseases. A slight and mostly transient enlargement of CSF spaces during ACTH therapy is a probable side-effect of the medication. In infants with persistent or progressive enlargement of the CSF spaces, however, this alteration appears to be mainly due to pre-existing brain damage. CT examinations of infants with West syndrome should be performed because prognostic information may be obtained and in a few cases operations to drain CSF may be necessary.

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