Head-up tilt test ‘can aid epilepsy diagnosis’

Posted May 7 2014 in other treatments for epilepsy

hutts

A new study has underlined the potential usefulness of head-up tilt tests (HUTTs) in providing more accurate epilepsy diagnoses.

The Porto University research examined HUTTs as a potential means of reducing the number of people misdiagnosed with epilepsy due to transient loss of consciousness (TLOC) episodes that are actually caused by neurocardiogenic syncope (NCS), an unrelated condition.

As such, they retrospectively analysed the clinical records of 107 consecutive patients with a previous diagnosis of refractory epilepsy that were taking antiepileptic drugs and who were referred for HUTTs.

It was found that the test was a useful tool for accurately diagnosing and subsequently selecting the appropriate treatment for patients presenting with transient losses of consciousness.

The researchers said: “The diagnostic overlap between epilepsy and NCS is not uncommon, suggesting that electroencephalographic monitoring during a HUTT may play an important role in diagnosing patients with recurrent, undiagnosed TLOC episodes.”

HUTTs involve placing patients on a flat table or bed and positioning them at different angles, while measuring blood pressure, electrical activity in the heart and oxygen levels. It is a useful way of finding the cause of fainting spells.

Posted by Bob Jones