The optimal time of discontinuing anticonvulsant treatment in children with cryptogenic partial epilepsy was evaluated at the Universities of Chieti and Siena, Italy. In two groups of 45 and 44 children whose therapy was discontinued slowly (over a 6 month period) after 1 and 2 years from the last seizure, recurrence rates after 5 years follow-up were 29% and 25%, respectively. A 1 year seizure-free period is a safe interval for discontinuation of therapy in children with cryptogenic partial seizures. 
COMMENT. Therapy may be discontinued gradually after a 1 year seizure-free period in children treated for cryptogenic partial seizures. A relapse rate of approximately 25% is not significantly lower if treatment is continued for 2 years.