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We reviewed the etiologic aspects clinical symptoms Review Article hemiplegia



Alternating hemiplegia of childhood

               José Guevara Campos 1, José Urbáez Cano 1, Rubén Tinedo 1,
                    Marisol Villamizar 1, Lucía González de Guevara 2

 Pediatric Service of the Hospital “Felipe Guevara Rojas”, El Tigre-Anzoátegui, Venezuela
 Epilepsy and Encephalography Unit, Clinical Center “Esperanza Paraco”, El Tigre-
Anzoátegui, Venezuela


        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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