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REVIEW ARTICLE Alternating hemiplegia of childhood José Guevara Campos 1, José Urbáez Cano 1, Rubén Tinedo 1, Marisol Villamizar 1, Lucía González de Guevara 2 1 Pediatric Service of the Hospital “Felipe Guevara Rojas”, El Tigre-Anzoátegui, Venezuela 2 Epilepsy and Encephalography Unit, Clinical Center “Esperanza Paraco”, El Tigre- Anzoátegui, Venezuela Abstract We reviewed the etiologic aspects, clinical symptoms, complementary studies, differential diagnosis and treatment of alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC). AHC is an uncommon illness of uncertain pathophysiology that provokes crisis of transient hemiplegia affecting one hemibody or occasionally both at the same time. Clinical symptoms of AHC usually begin before the age of 18 months and in some cases may present in the neonatal period. Clinical symptoms include abnormal ocular movements such as nystagmus and dystonic or tonic posturing. Hemiplegic attacks are not associated with alteration of consciousness. Hemiplegia may disappear right after arousal and may reappear 10 to 20 minutes after arousal in children with AHC. The diagnosis of AHC is clinically made, and most of the clinically used diagnostic tests result in negative. The treatment of AHC includes flunarizine. It is necessary to suspect this diagnosis to identify patients with AHC. [J Pediatr Neurol 2005; 3(4): 199-205]. Key words: Alternating hemiplegia, convulsions, dystonia, flunarizine, epilepsy, EEG.
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