Reduction in Internal Carotid Arterial Blood Flow Velocity in Children During Antiepileptic Drug Therapy with Clinical Dosages


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Y. Futagi at the Division of Pediatric Neurology, Osaka Medical Center and Research Institute for Maternal and Child Health, 840 Murodo-cho, Izumi, Osaka 590-02, Japan.


Summary: We studied the effect of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) on internal carotid artery (ICA) blood flow velocity, as an index of total cerebral blood flow (CBF). The subjects were 45 newly diagnosed children with febrile convulsion or epilepsy who were seizure-free for a period long enough not to affect the results. They had no neurologic deficit, received fixed monotherapy, and were examined by a noninvasive Doppler ultrasound method, in comparisonwith 13 age-matched normal volunteers with no AED. In 30 patients, the measurements were performed before and after AED administration [10 with phenobarbital (PB), 10 with carbamazepine (CBZ), and 10 with valproate (VPA)], and performed before and after AED discontinuation in the remaining 15 patients (all with PB). Normal volunteers underwent the two consecutive examinations with a mean interval equal to that of the entire patient group, and there was no difference in velocity values between the measurements. In patients receiving CBZ or VPA, a significant reduction was noted in blood flow velocity after drug administration. Although velocity values in the patients receiving PB did not change after drug administration, they were significantly increased after complete discontinuation. In the present study, a slight but significant reduction in CBF caused by AED administration at therapeutic doses in children was suggested.