Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences
: 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 185--187

Ohtahara syndrome associated with hemimegalencephaly and intracranial lipoma

Vykuntaraju K Gowda1, Ashwini Bhat2, Maya Bhat3, Premalatha Ramaswamy2,  
1 Department of Pediatric Neurology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Neuroimaging and Intervention Radiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Vykuntaraju K Gowda
Department of pediatric neurology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Bengaluru, Karnataka


Hemimegalencephaly is a disorder of cortical malformation and is associated with various disorders including various neurocutaneous syndromes and many seizure types. We present a case of hemimegalencephaly associated with Ohtahara syndrome and intracranial and facial lipoma.

How to cite this article:
Gowda VK, Bhat A, Bhat M, Ramaswamy P. Ohtahara syndrome associated with hemimegalencephaly and intracranial lipoma.J Pediatr Neurosci 2015;10:185-187

How to cite this URL:
Gowda VK, Bhat A, Bhat M, Ramaswamy P. Ohtahara syndrome associated with hemimegalencephaly and intracranial lipoma. J Pediatr Neurosci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Feb 5 ];10:185-187
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Hemimegalencephaly is a rare congenital disorder of cortical formation with hamartomatous overgrowth of all or a part of a cerebral hemisphere. This results from either increased proliferation or decreased apoptosis (or both) of developing neurons. [1]

Early infantile epileptic encephalopathy, or Ohtahara syndrome, is one of the most severe forms of age-related epileptic encephalopathies, characterized by the onset of tonic spasms within the first 3 months of life. The characteristic electroencephalogram (EEG) displays a burst suppression pattern. Structural abnormalities of the brain are often associated. We present a case of hemimegalencephaly associated with facial and intracranial lipoma presenting as Ohtahara syndrome.

 Case Report

A 3-month-old child of nonconsanguineous marriage, presented with a history of tonic neck flexor spasms since 20 days, in clusters, 3-4 clusters/day and 5-6 spasms/cluster. She also had a facial mass on the left side since birth, which is soft, nonprogressive in size and is restricted to the left side of the face. She was born at term gestation with birth weight of 2.5 kg, with no adverse events. Child had not attained any developmental milestones, and was not recognizing mother, had no neck control, but was able to unfist her hands spontaneously.

On examination, she weighed 4.5 kg, and head circumference was 38 cm. A mass was present on the left side of her face. The mass was about 7 cm in diameter, soft in consistency, with smooth borders. The mass was easily movable over the underlying surface [Figure 1]. Left ear was also set lower than the right and larger in size than the right ear. On neurological exam, tone was increased bilaterally right more than left and power on the right side was 3/5 (MRC grade) and 4/5 on the left side.{Figure 1}

On investigation, complete blood count, serum electrolytes, and serum calcium were within normal limits. EEG findings were suggestive of burst suppression pattern [Figure 2]. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a hyper intense lesion in the subcutaneous plane on the left side of face suggestive of a lipoma on axial T1-weighted imaging (T1-WI) [Figure 3]a. Axial T1-WI also demonstrated a hyper intense lesion in the ambient cistern on the right side suggestive of lipoma [Figure 3]b. Axial T2-WI demonstrated left-sided hemimegalencephaly with an enlarged hemisphere and midline shift of the left occipital lobe [Figure 3]c. Axial fluid-attenuated inversion recovery image showed asymmetric cerebellum with abnormal folia [Figure 4]a. Computed tomography brain showed left hemimegalencapahly and intracranial calcification in the right ambient cistern demonstrating a calcified lipoma [Figure 4]b.{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}

Child was treated with injection adrenocorticotropic hormone 24 IU daily for 2 weeks and valproate with partial control of spasms.


Partial motor, or partial complex seizures are the most frequent types of epilepsy in hemimegalencephaly and are associated with infantile spasms in 50% of patients. Developmental delay is often early and severe, though variations are often present. [2] Our child had global developmental delay. Anomalies of cortical development including polymicrogyria, pachygyria, and gray-matter heterotopias are always seen in the affected portions of the hemisphere, but can be seen in the "unaffected" hemisphere as well. [2]

Ohtahara syndrome is a severe epileptic syndrome that is characterized by early onset (<3 months of age) tonic/epileptic spasms, either in clusters or sporadic, with burst suppression pattern in both awake and sleep studies. Epileptic spasms occur in sleep as well as in awake state. Daily seizure frequency is high, ranging from 10 to 300 single spasms or 10-20 clusters of spasms. Seizures are partial in one-third to one-half cases. Affected patients show marked developmental and neurological abnormalities after birth, which progressively deteriorates with the course of the disease. [3] Our case presented with tonic infantile spasm in the 3 rd month of life and EEG showed burst suppression pattern.

Hemimegalencephaly is associated with Legius syndrome and many other neurocutaneous syndromes such as Proteus syndrome, Incontinentia Pigmenti, and Epidermal Nevus Syndrome. Legius syndrome is a neurofibromatosis (NF) like syndrome, with cafι-au-lait macules, lipomas, axillary freckling, hemimegalencephaly, and macrocephaly. The child was evaluated clinically and investigated for the same, but no evidence for the diagnosis of Legius syndrome and other syndromes could be found. Legius syndrome is caused by mutations in SPRED1 gene and has many overlapping features with NF1, but has milder clinical manifestations and the neurofibromas and cortical dysplasia characteristic on NF1 do not develop in Legius syndrome. [4]

Ohtahara syndrome is caused by mutations in various genes including ARX, CDKL5, SLC25A22, STXBP1, [5] KCNQ2, [6] and likely others; and various metabolic disorders and structural malformations in the brain. Metabolic workup is normal in our child. In our case, MRI of brain showed hemimegalencephaly; hence mutation analyses for various genes were deferred.


Underlying brain malformations should be considered when evaluating cause for Ohtahara syndrome with lipoma. Extensive metabolic and genetic tests can be avoided.


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