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Vigabatrin and high-dose prednisolone therapy for patients with West syndrome

 Ara Ko  ;  Song Ee Youn  ;  Hee Jung Chung  ;  Se Hee Kim  ;  Joon Soo Lee  ;  Heung Dong Kim  ;  Hoon-Chul Kang 
 EPILEPSY RESEARCH, Vol.145 : 127-133, 2018 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Infantile spasms ; Prednisolone ; Treatment ; Vigabatrin ; West syndrome

Hormonal therapy and vigabatrin are now accepted as the first-line or standard therapies for West syndrome (WS). However, the superiority of these drugs in terms of monotherapy or combination therapy is still in question. In this study, we designed a treatment protocol for WS and prospectively assessed the efficacy of these therapies in controlling spasms, stabilizing electroencephalography (EEG), and allowing for developmental catch-up.


In patients diagnosed with WS, vigabatrin was first administered alone for 2 weeks, and then prednisolone was administered in combination with vigabatrin if patients did not respond to vigabatrin. The detailed drug administration protocol was as follows: vigabatrin 50 mg/kg/day for 1 day, followed by vigabatrin 100 mg/kg/day for 3 days, vigabatrin 150 mg/kg/day if spasms were still present or the burden of amplitudes and epileptiform discharges (BASED) score on EEG was ≥3 on day 5; 40 mg/day of prednisolone was added if spasms were still present or the BASED score was ≥3 on day 14. The prednisolone dose was increased to 60 mg/day if spasms were still present or the BASED score was ≥3 on day 21.


Sixty-six patients newly diagnosed with WS (median seizure onset age: 5.7 [IQR, 4.1-7.1] months, median age at diagnosis: 6.6 [IQR, 5.4-8.1] months, n = 40 [60.6%] boys) were subjected to the vigabatrin and prednisolone therapy protocol. Of the 66 patients, 22 (33.3%) patients showed resolution of spasms and a BASED score of ≤2 after vigabatrin alone, and 26 (39.4%) patients showed resolution of spasms and a BASED score of ≤2 after a combination of vigabatrin and prednisolone, for a total of 48 (72.7%) patients who were responsive to the protocol without relapse for at least 7 months after WS diagnosis. The mental and psychomotor age quotients were higher at the time of diagnosis and remained significantly higher 6 months after the diagnosis in responsive patients (p <  0.001). No serious adverse reactions leading to discontinuation or reduction of drug doses were observed.


Using a treatment protocol involving vigabatrin and prednisolone for WS, 72.7% of patients showed resolution of spasms and a BASED score of ≤2. This study also found that this drug administration protocol was safe. However, further studies are warranted as this study describes results from observational study with limited sample size.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Pediatrics (소아과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kang, Hoon Chul(강훈철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3659-8847
Kim, Se Hee(김세희) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7773-1942
Kim, Heung Dong(김흥동) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8031-7336
Youn, Song Ee(윤송이)
Lee, Joon Soo(이준수) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9036-9343
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