Tuberous sclerosis complex: analysis of areas of involvement, treatment progress and translation to routine clinical practice in a cohort of paediatric patients
Introduction. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) displays great phenotypic variability. Increasingly early diagnosis, including prenatal identification, entails the need for the paediatrician and neuropaediatrician to establish early suspicion and identification of factors that may influence prognosis and treatment.
Aim. To determine the clinical criteria for early diagnosis, initial complementary tests, actions and treatments to prevent different comorbidities, so as to improve the prognosis of these patients.
Patients and methods. Descriptive, retrospective study of ≤ 18-year-olds with a definitive diagnosis of TSC in a tertiary hospital from 1998 to 2019. We collected variables referring to epidemiological data, multisystem involvement, complementary tests and genetics.
Results. Ninety-four patients were analysed. The main diagnostic reasons were epilepsy and rhabdomyomas. The frequency of occurrence of clinical criteria was determined, and neuropathological findings were the main findings, followed by cutaneous stigmata, rhabdomyomas and renal lesions. Statistical relationships were found between clinical, radiological and genetic aspects, the influence of preventive activities on the occurrence of epilepsy and the relevance of everolimus use were tested.
Conclusions. Rhabdomyomas and skin stigmata in patients and parents are major diagnostic signs in infants. Tubers and subependymal nodules are statistically associated with the development of epilepsy. Early epileptic spasms, refractory to treatment in the first months, increase the risk of cognitive deficits and autism spectrum disorder. Epileptic abnormalities need to be closely monitored in the first year of life. Everolimus is an alternative treatment for several comorbidities, but its early use (< 3 years) requires further study.
Key words. Epilepsy. Everolimus. Hypopigmented macules. Rhabdomyomas. TSC1/TSC2. Tuberous sclerosis complex.