Video electroencephalography monitoring differentiates between epileptic and non-epileptic seizures

Mette Borch Nørmark, Jesper Erdal, Troels Wesenberg Kjær

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


    INTRODUCTION: Epilepsy is often misdiagnosed and approximately one in every four patients diagnosed with refractory epilepsy does not have epilepsy, but instead non-epileptic seizures. Video electroencephalography monitoring (VEM) is the gold standard for differentiation between epileptic and non-epileptic seizures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of VEM as a diagnostic tool. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, we have investigated the diagnostic outcome of 155 in-patients undergoing VEM at Copenhagen University Hospital (Rigshospitalet) over a two-year period. RESULTS: The study showed that VEM revealed a diagnosis in 80%. Epilepsy was diagnosed in 38% and epilepsy was rejected in 43% of cases. In the remaining 20% of cases, epilepsy could not be excluded. Among patients who were referred in antiepileptic drug treatment, 29% did not have epilepsy. The highest diagnostic yield was obtained when patients had seizures with ictal lectroencephalography paroxysms during VEM. CONCLUSION: Several patients without epilepsy are treated as if they had epilepsy. VEM is a costly method, but with a large diagnostic yield and should therefore be used when there is doubt about the diagnosis in patients with relatively frequent seizures. The use of VEM is expedient to make the correct diagnosis, optimize medical treatment of patients with epilepsy and to avoid unnecessary treatment in patients without epilepsy.

    TidsskriftDanish medical bulletin
    Udgave nummer9
    StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2011


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