Misdiagnosis and pitfalls in Panayiotopoulos syndrome

Vincenzo Di Stefano, Pasquale Parisi, Vincenzo Di Stefano, Alessandro Graziosi, Noemi Pellegrino, Anna Luchetti, Umberto Raucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Panayiotopoulos syndrome (PS) is a frequent (6% among children of 1–15 years) and benign epileptic syndrome, characterized by predominantly autonomic symptoms (emesis, pallor, flushing, cyanosis, mydriasis/miosis, cardiorespiratory and thermoregulatory alterations, incontinence of urine and/or feces, hypersalivation, and modifications of intestinal motility) associated with simple motor focal seizures, which can be followed by secondary generalization. Panayiotopoulos syndrome can be extremely insidious, because it can mimic several condition, such as gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, encephalitis, syncope, migraine, sleep disorders, or even metabolic diseases. This peculiar pleiotropism should be kept in mind by child neurologists and pediatricians and general practitioners, because a wrong diagnosis may lead to inappropriate interventions. The consequences are high morbidity, costly mismanagement, and stress for children and their parents. The availability of electroencephalography (EEG) recording in pediatric Emergency Departments might be useful for a prompt and not-cost-consuming diagnosis. On the other hand, it is important to be aware of the possible, multifaceted, clinical presentations of PS and its clinical, radiological, and neurophysiological features in order to improve both recognition and management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-128
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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