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Keywords:

  • Migraine;
  • Occipital epilepsy;
  • Autonomic status epilepticus;
  • Intermittent photic stimulation;
  • Visual sensitivity

Summary

We report the history of a 14-year-old girl with atypical childhood occipital epilepsy “Gastaut type” whose first generalized tonic–clonic seizure was preceded by migraine without aura and followed by a status migrainosus. This status lasted for 3 days despite standard analgesic therapy. An EEG recording revealed an occipital status epilepticus during her migraine complaints. Seven minutes after intravenous administration of 10 mg diazepam under continuous EEG recording, a suppression of the epileptiform discharges over the right occipital was seen, while the headache subsided 3 min later. After precise questioning about the circumstances that possibly could have led to these events, it appeared that she had played for hours with a play station on the new color TV and she had visited an exhibition of Matisse and Bonnard with bright colors and contrast-rich text. Standardized extensive intermittent photic stimulation (IPS), 2 days after the status migrainosus, evoked besides asymmetrical right-sided driving, green spots in her left visual field, while in the EEG sharp waves were recorded over the right parietotemporal region. After further IPS with 20 Hz (eye closure), she started complaining of a light pulsating headache right occipitally and in the EEG right parietotemporal sharp-waves were seen. This lasted for about 10 min. Later, an interictal routine EEG was normal except for some theta over the right temporooccipital area. The most likely diagnosis is an atypical form of occipital epilepsy “Gastaut type.” We would therefore advocate recording EEGs with photic stimulation in patients with atypical migraneous features.