Objective: We report on a 27-month-old female with atypical early infantile epileptic encephalopathy (EIEE), who developed tonic spasms, partial seizures and myoclonic jerks along with episodic bradycardia at 5 days. Methods: We recorded digital electroencephalography (EEG) using either an 11-channel neonatal montage or 19 channel scalp electrodes, at 200 Hz sampling rate, and a single reference for a minimum of 30 min. Results: At 18 days EEG showed suppression-burst (SB) patterns during wakefulness and sleep. Tonic spasms concomitant with bursts recorded as brief, low-amplitude fast waves. EEG at 8 months showed increased amplitude of bursts to 1 mV and extension of suppression periods to 65 s. By increasing recording sensitivity, we detected focal epileptiform discharges of slow rhythmic sharp and slow waves building to 30 μV during suppression periods. Status epilepticus occurred at 16 months. EEG at 27 months returned to the previous SB pattern with rare partial seizures. Conclusions: This report is the first to demonstrate clinically silent focal EEG seizures during prolonged suppression periods in atypical EIEE by off-line digital EEG. Significance: Digital EEG sensitivity can reveal covert electrical activity during suppression periods in epileptic neonates and infants.
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