Table 1

 Characteristics of included studies

First author, countryCentre, dates of episodesNo.Definition of target population ExclusionsInv. proto.Participants
ED, emergency department.
Prospective, prospective identification of patients.
Retrospective, retrospective case note review.
Inv. proto., investigation protocol.
ADavies (2002), England5ED, children’s hospital, 1996–97 (prospective)651986 consensus definition Exclusions: infants >6 mth with febrile convulsion.Yesage 0–12 mth, median 7 weeks, 15% SIDS in relative, 15% <34 weeks preterm
BGray (1999), England6ED, children’s hospital, 1993 (retrospective)130Episode with one or more of the following: apnoea, colour change, choking, abnormal limb movements, causing observer to seek medical help. 130 infants had 163 ALTE episodes requiring admission. Exclusions: infants >6 mth with febrile convulsion.Noage 0–12 mth, median 8 weeks, 3.1% SIDS in close family
CKurz (1997), Austria2Paediatric dept, university hospital (prospective)60Episode of sudden, unexpected pallor or cyanosis with lifelessness, experienced by parents as mortal threat. No exclusions.Yesage 1–45 weeks, median 16 weeks, 22% preterm
DLaisne (1989), France7Paediatric dept, general hospital, 1985–87 (retrospective)100Episode of sudden, unexplained apnoea with cyanosis and/or pallor and hypotonia leading to loss of consciousness and often prompting carers to stimulate the infant. No exclusions.Yesmean 13 weeks, 90% <6 mth
ESheikh (2000), USA10ED, children’s hospital, 1993–97 (retrospective)74Episode of prolonged apnoea, hypotonia and pallor or cyanosis in first year of life. No exclusions.Noage 0–12 mth, mean 7 weeks, 0% preterm
FTal (1999), Israel8Paediatric ward, general hospital, 1993–95 (retrospective)651986 consensus definition. No exclusions.Yesage 1–6 mth
GTsukada (1993), Japan11Paediatric ward, general hospital, 1986–91 (retrospective)191986 consensus definition. No exclusions.Yesage 23 days–13 mth, mean 19 weeks
HV-Wauters (1991), Belgium9ED, children’s hospital, 1984–86 (retrospective)130Episode of prolonged apnoea, hypotonia, and cyanosis or pallor. No exclusions.Yesage 2–36 weeks