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Case Reports in Neurological Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 9238310, 4 pages
Case Report

Pediatric Absence Status Epilepticus: Prolonged Altered Mental Status in an 8-Year-Old Boy

1College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
2Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Received 31 August 2016; Accepted 8 November 2016

Academic Editor: Chin-Chang Huang

Copyright © 2016 Scott J. Adams et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Absence status epilepticus is characterized by a prolonged state of impaired consciousness or altered sensorium with generalized electroencephalographic abnormalities. It is most commonly diagnosed in patients with known idiopathic generalized epilepsy; however, it may also be the first presentation of epilepsy. Due to the subtle and variable manifestations of the condition, absence status epilepticus may be underrecognized, particularly in children. We present the case of an 8-year-old boy who experienced two episodes of prolonged altered mental status, subsequently determined to be absence status epilepticus with idiopathic generalized epilepsy with phantom absences. We discuss the classification, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and electroencephalographic findings of pediatric absence status epilepticus and provide a practical overview for management.