EEG and video telemetry ‘can aid childhood epilepsy diagnosis’

Posted May 19 2014 in Epilepsy in children

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A recent study has demonstrated the potential benefits of using a combination of ambulatory electroencephalography (EEG) and video telemetry techniques in diagnosing epilepsy among children.

Published in the medical journal Seizure, the research from Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield aimed to assess the advantages of using outpatient ambulatory EEG, followed by inpatient video telemetry EEG, when investigating children for possible seizures and for classification of epilepsy.

To conduct this study, the team retrospectively examined its departmental EEG database for children undergoing ambulatory recording followed by inpatient video telemetry within an 18-month period.

It was found that 30 patients between the ages of three and 16 fulfilled the criteria, including 21 females and nine males, with the mean interval between studies recorded as nine months.

For ambulatory recordings, 93 per cent of studies were undertaken to ascertain if certain behaviours were evidence of epilepsy, while 66 per cent were designed to capture events of interest. 63 per cent of all of these were able to answer the question asked of the test.

Meanwhile, in the video telemetry cases, 80 per cent were aimed at ascertaining if events were epileptic or not, 20 per cent were undertaken for classification of seizure type. 70 per cent of the recordings were able to captured an ictus and were therefore deemed helpful in addressing the clinical question.

However, the greatest level of success was seen when the two methods were pooled together. It was shown that 90 per cent of patients had a paroxysmal event captured and the clinical question when both recording techniques were considered in tandem.

Moreover, among the patients whose ambulatory recording failed to capture an attack or answer the clinical question, 70 per cent went on to to achieve success through the use of video telemetry.

The researchers concluded: “Both ambulatory EEG and inpatient video telemetry are effective tools for diagnosis of seizures. The majority of patients with failed ambulatory recordings go on to have successful video telemetry. Combining the two resources provides useful clinical information in nearly all instances.”

EEG scans involve recording brain activity in order to diagnose and manage conditions such as epilepsy, memory impairment, infections and comas.

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