We report the ictal brain single photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) findings in two neonates. One neonate had hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a disorganized discontinuous electroencephalogram (EEG) background, lethargy, seizures, and brainstem release phenomena. A brain SPECT was performed during a brainstem release phenomenon characterized by a 34-second sustained tonic posture of the right arm and chewing. It did not reveal focal cerebral hemisphere hyperfusion. The second neonate had hemimegalencephaly, low-voltage irregular EEG background, and seizures. A brain SPECT was performed during a seizure characterized by a 32-second sustained tonic posture of the right arm. It revealed focal hyperperfusion in the posterior region of the left hemisphere. The brain SPECT findings in these patients indicate that despite clinically similar events, brainstem release phenomena and seizures have different perfusion characteristics, and refute the theory that brainstem release phenomena are due to epileptic foci in the cerebral hemispheres undetectable by EEG.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology