Objective: To review the current literature on the efficacy and safety of low- versus high-dose adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) regimens, low-dose ACTH regimens, and comparison of ACTH with oral corticosteroids or vigabatrin for the treatment of West syndrome. Data Sources: A literature search was performed using MEDLINE, PubMed, and Inter national Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1975-November 2012) to identify studies for inclusion. In addition, reference citations from identified publications were reviewed. The following search terms were used: infantile spasms, West syndrome, adrenocorticotropic hormone, corticotropin, symptomatic West syndrome, cryptogenic West syndrome, pediatric, children, infant, adolescent, and neonate. Study Selection and Data Extraction: Studies included in this article evaluated low-dose versus high-dose ACTH, low-dose ACTH, and ACTH compared with vigabatrin and oral corticosteroids. Data reporting the efficacy and adverse effects of ACTH, vigabatrin, and oral corticosteroids were extracted from each publication. Only English-language publications were included. We initially reviewed 20 studies, and 14 were included: 5 prospective randomized clinical trials and 9 chart reviews. Data Synthesis: West syndrome is an age-specific epileptic disorder that occurs in infancy and early childhood. It is characterized by the triad of infantile spasms, neurodevelopmental regression or delay, and hypsarrhythmia on electroencephalogram (EEG). The efficacy and adverse events of ACTH with different dosage regimens were reviewed and analyzed. ACTH compared with vigabatrin and oral corticosteroids was also evaluated. Based on this review, low-dose ACTH is probably as effective as high-dose ACTH. Compared with other agents, ACTH is suggested to be more effective than oral corticosteroids, and compared with vigabatrin, it has improved outcomes in the cessation of spasms. However, studies evaluating the efficacy of ACTH are limited by small sample size, inconsistent dosage regimens, and the use of synthetic or natural ACTH products. Serious adverse events, including intracranial hemorrhage, brain atrophy, Cushing syndrome, infection, weight gain, and hypertension, may deter the use of ACTH. Short-term therapy is recommended to reduce the risk of adverse effects. Conclusions: The current literature suggests that short-term, low-dose ACTH should be considered first-line treatment of infantile spasms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)