Diagnostic Dilemma

Breath holding spell at 6 months of age

A 6 months old boy born of non consanguineous marriage presented with recurrent episodes of turning blue while crying associated with holding of breath for past 1 month. There are 2-3 episodes/day. The child after turning blue becomes limp and regains consciousness after stimulation again. There is no suck-rest-suck cycle, cyanosis at rest or delayed development. He is on exclusive breast feeds and immunized till date. On examination, there is no abnormality detected.

Investigations showed:
• Saturation oxygen = 99%
• Echocardiography = Normal
• EEG = Normal

Child was diagnosed as breath holding spell.

How common is breath holding spell at 6 months of age?
Expert Opinion :
Breath holding spells are usually seen around 15 months – 3 years of age when the child learns to throw temper tantrums. They are extremely rare before 6 months of age and when they start before 6 months of age, one must always rule out cyanotic congenital heart diseases and seizure disorder.
Answer Discussion :
Sudhakar Mudkhedkar
seen, more common between one to three years of age.
9 months ago
William Attipoe
not common 1-2yrs
9 months ago

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