Management practices for West syndrome in South Asia: A survey study and meta-analysis

Priyanka Madaan, Prem Chand, Kyaw Linn, Jithangi Wanigasinghe, Mimi Lhamu Mynak, Prakash Poudel, Raili Riikonen, Amit Kumar, Pooja Dhir, Sandeep Negi, Jitendra Kumar Sahu

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Objectives: Considering the dearth of literature on West syndrome (WS) from South Asian countries, this study aimed to evaluate the management practices in South Asia by an online survey and meta-analysis. Methods: An online questionnaire was sent to 223 pediatric neurologists/pediatricians in India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Their responses were evaluated and supplemented by a meta-analysis. Results: Of 125 responses received (response rate: 56%), around 60% of responders observed male preponderance and an approximate lead-time-to-treatment (LTTT) of 4-12 weeks. The commonest etiology observed was a static structural insult (88.6% of responders). Most commonly used first-line drug (country-wise) was as follows: India—adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH, 50%); Pakistan—oral steroids (45.5%); Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Nepal—oral steroids (94.4%); Bangladesh—ACTH (2/2); Bhutan—vigabatrin (3/5). ACTH and vigabatrin are not available in Myanmar and Nepal. The most commonly used regime for ACTH was maximal-dose-at-initiation-regime in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh and gradually escalating-regime in Pakistan. Maximum dose of prednisolone was variable—most common response from India: 3-4 mg/kg/d; Pakistan, Bhutan, and Bangladesh: 2 mg/kg/d; Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Myanmar: 5-8 mg/kg/d or 60 mg/d. The total duration of hormonal therapy (including tapering) ranged from 4 to 12 weeks (67/91). Most responders considered cessation of spasms for four weeks as complete response (54/111) and advised electroencephalography (EEG; 104/123) to check for hypsarrhythmia resolution. Difficult access to pediatric EEG in Bhutan and Nepal is concerning. More than 95% of responders felt a need for more awareness. The meta-analysis supported the preponderance of male gender (68%; confidence interval [CI]: 64%-73%), structural etiology(80%; CI 73%-86%), longer LTTT (2.4 months; CI 2.1-2.6 months), and low response rate to hormonal therapy(18% and 28% for ACTH and oral steroids respectively) in WS in South Asia. Significance: This study highlights the practices and challenges in the management of WS in South Asia. These include a preponderance of male gender and structural etiology, a longer LTTT, difficult access to pediatric EEG, nonavailability of ACTH and vigabatrin in some countries, and low effectiveness of hormonal therapy in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-474
Number of pages14
JournalEpilepsia Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Asia
  • epileptic spasms
  • hypsarrhythmia
  • infantile spasms
  • low middle-income countries


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