Postictal syndrome: The forgotten continent. An overview of the clinical, biochemical and imaging features.


EFSN, centre de compétence Grenoble epilepsies rares, university Grenoble Alpes, Inserm, U1216, CHU de Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble institut neurosciences, 38000 Grenoble, France. Electronic address: [Email]


Postictal syndrome (PIS) encompasses the clinical, biological, electroencephalographic (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signs that follow the termination of a seizure. These signs occur as soon as the epileptic discharge ends, but might remain for a substantially long period of time, making them amenable to clinical observation. As a direct consequence, neurologists and intensivists are more frequently attending patients with PIS than during their seizure. Moreover, careful PIS documentation may help physicians to diagnose epileptic seizure from other non-epileptic disorders. Careful analysis of PIS could also be helpful to better characterize the seizure (seizure subtypes, and to some extent, the localization and/or lateralization of the seizure). This article aims to review the main clinical, biological, EEG and MRI components of PIS, discuss differential diagnoses and propose a general clinical attitude, based on the acronym "WAITTT": W for "Watch", to monitor and investigate PIS in order to provide relevant information on seizure, AIT for "Avoid Inappropriate Treatment", to underscore the risk carrying out unnecessary drug injections and intensive care procedures in the setting of a self-limited symptomatology, and TT for "Take Time", to keep in mind that time remains the clinician's best ally for treating patients with PIS.


Epilepsy,Postictal syndrome,Seizure,Todd paralysis,