Purpose: To determine long-term outcome in a cohort of children with newly diagnosed benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BED'S). Methods: 29 children with BECTS were included in the Dutch Study of Epilepsy in Childhood. Each child was followed for 5 years, and subsequently contacted 12-17 years after enrolment to complete a structured questionnaire. Twenty children had typical BED'S, nine had atypical BED'S (age at onset <4 years, developmental delay or learning difficulties at inclusion, other seizure types, atypical EEG abnormalities). Results: Mean age at onset of epilepsy was 8.0 years with slight male preponderance. Most common seizure-types before enrolment were generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) and simple partial seizures; in 86% of the children seizures occurred during sleep. After 12-17 years, 96% had a terminal remission (TRF) of more than 5 years and 89% of more than 10 years. Mean duration of epilepsy was 2.7 years; mean age at reaching TRF was 10.6 years. Many children (63%) had experienced one or more (secondary) GTCS. Antiepileptic drugs were used by 79% of the children with a mean duration of 3.0 years. None of the children seemed to have developed learning problems or an arrest of cognitive development during follow-up. No significant differences were observed in patient characteristics or outcome between children with typical BED'S and children with atypical BED'S. Conclusions: All children in our cohort, both those with typical and atypical BED'S, had a very good prognosis with high remission rates after 12-17 years. None of the predictive factors for disease course and outcome observed in earlier studies (other seizure types, age at onset, multiple seizures at onset) were prognostic in our cohort. (C) 2010 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.