Ictal electrocardiographic changes in children presenting with seizures

Pediatrics International, 04/27/2012

Isik U et al. – Tachycardia is the main finding in seizures in children. Ictal bradycardia and cardiac arrhythmias are very rare despite being more frequent in adults with seizures.


  • The authors assessed heart rate changes, RR intervals and QT changes during 47 seizures in children.
  • Consecutive QT and RR intervals were measured for 60 s before the seizures, during the seizures and 60 s after the seizures during video electroencephalography monitoring.


  • There were 47 seizures in 18 patients. Five patients had generalized seizures and 13 patients had focal seizures.
  • Twelve patients were male.
  • The mean age during monitoring was 10.1 years (range 4 months–19 years). Ictal tachycardia was seen in every seizure. No ictal bradycardia was noted.
  • There was only one dropped beat in a patient.
  • The mean ictal heart-rate-corrected QT (QTc) interval was significantly higher than the postictal measurements (P= 0.005).
  • Mean ictal QTc variation tended to increase during seizures and then decreased below the pre-ictal measurements in the postictal period.

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