Benign Neonatal Sleep Myoclonus Workup

Updated: Dec 17, 2019
  • Author: Marc P DiFazio, MD; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
  • Print

Approach Considerations

Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus (BNSM) closely mimics seizures, so it often prompts hospital admission and extensive diagnostic testing, including neurophysiologic studies, brain imaging, and screening for infection. A clear understanding of the condition is crucial to avoid unnecessary testing.

Laboratory Studies

If jitteriness or tetany remain in the differential diagnosis, screening for hypoglycemia and electrolyte disturbances is indicated.

Imaging Studies

Once BNSM is identified, no imaging studies are indicated. If epilepsy or seizures remain a concern, MRI is the study of choice in infants.

Other Tests

If seizures remain a consideration, performing EEG is appropriate. Prolonged EEG monitoring, during multiple sleep/wake cycles potentially allows for time-locked data collection during episodes, making this the optimal study for infants in whom diagnostic confusion remains.