Literature Review

Hyperammonemia May Signal the Presence of Generalized Convulsive Seizures

Blood ammonia levels were correlated with generalized convulsive seizures.


Elevated blood ammonia levels may help differentiate epileptic generalized convulsive seizures (GCS) from other events, suggests a recent report in Epilepsia. When Rawan Albadareen and associates measured blood ammonia levels in 78 patients with GCS, psychogenic nonepileptic seizures with convulsions (PNES-C), or focal seizures using video–electroencephalography (vEEG) monitoring, they discovered that ammonia levels at or above 80 μmol/L could classify generalized convulsive seizures in 80% of patients with a sensitivity of 53.9% and specificity of 100%. Their findings suggest that transient hyperammonemia may serve as an inexpensive test for the diagnosis of GCS.

Albadareen R, Gronseth G, Landazuri P, et al. Postictal ammonia as a biomarker for electrographic convulsive seizures: a prospective study. Epilepsia. 2016;57(8): 1221-1227.

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