Ketogenic diet therapy for epilepsy during pregnancy: A case series

Elles J T M van der Louw, Tanya McDonald, Bobbie J. Henry-Barron, Joanne F. Olieman, Johannes J. Duvekot, Marijn J. Vermeulen, Natalja Bannink, Monique Williams, Rinze F. Neuteboom, Eric H Kossoff, Coriene E. Catsman-Berrevoets, Mackenzie Cervenka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose Evaluation of ketogenic diet (KD) therapies for seizure control during pregnancy when safety and appropriate management become considerations. Until now, no information has been available on seizure reduction and human pregnancy related outcomes in women treated with KD therapies. Method We describe two cases of pregnant women with epilepsy treated with KD therapy either as monotherapy (Case 1) or as adjunctive therapy (Case 2). Results Case 1: A 27 year old woman, gravida1, started the classic KD with medium chain triglyceride (MCT) emulsion and 75 g carbohydrate-restriction, later reduced to 47 g. Glucose levels were 4–6 mmol/L and blood ketone levels ranged from 0.2 to 1.4 mmol/L. Seizure frequency decreased and seizure-free days increased. Mild side effects included intolerance to MCT, reduced serum carnitine and vitamin levels, and mild hyperlipidemia. Fetal and neonatal growth was normal as was growth and development at 12 months. Case 2: A 36 year-old nulliparous woman was treated with a 20 gram carbohydrate-restricted Modified Atkins Diet (MAD) and lamotrigine, resulting in reduction of seizure frequency to once per month prior to pregnancy. Once pregnant, carbohydrates were increased to 30 g. When seizures increased, lamotrigine dose was doubled. Urine ketones trended down during second trimester. A male was born with bilateral ear deformities of unknown significance. The child had a normal neurodevelopment at eight months. Conclusion Non-pharmacological epilepsy therapies like KD and MAD may be effective during human pregnancy. However, safety still has to be established. Further monitoring to identify potential long term side effects is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-201
Number of pages4
JournalSeizure
Volume45
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017

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Keywords

  • Ketogenic diet
  • Ketosis
  • Modified Atkins Diet
  • Non-pharmacological
  • Pregnancy
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

van der Louw, E. J. T. M., McDonald, T., Henry-Barron, B. J., Olieman, J. F., Duvekot, J. J., Vermeulen, M. J., ... Cervenka, M. (2017). Ketogenic diet therapy for epilepsy during pregnancy: A case series. Seizure, 45, 198-201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2016.12.019