Video electroencephalograph (EEG) tests have been used in the diagnosis of epilepsy for quite some time. A video EEG is a two-part test, in which behavior is recorded on video and brain waves are monitored via EEG. The purpose of the test is to determine how behavior correlates to brain activity. A video EEG can diagnose the type of seizure a patient is experiencing, find out where the seizure is occurring in the brain, and help determine if seizures are due to epilepsy or another condition.
A 2021 study published in the European Journal of Paediatric Neurology evaluated the benefits, safety, and outcomes of long-term video EEG monitoring (LVEM) in young patients with symptoms of epilepsy.
Earlier studies have found LVEM to be effective. A 2017 paper determined that LVEM could help develop treatment strategies for patients with refractory epilepsy, while a 2010 study concluded that continuous video-EEG monitoring was “an efficient and valuable procedure in the diagnosis and management of epilepsy and paroxysmal disorders in children.”
This new study appears to add to the consensus that video EEG is useful in the diagnosis and management of epilepsy.
168 pediatric patients (88 boys, 75 girls) with an average age of 10.9 underwent 178 long-term video EEG monitoring sessions. The participants’ habitual event detection (symptoms consistent with epilepsy) rate was 69.1%. 147 patients received a positive epilepsy diagnosis, while 16 were found to have an unrelated condition.
37.4% of previously misdiagnosed patients were diagnosed with epilepsy due to LVEM, and 32 patients were scheduled for epilepsy surgery. 64% of patients not eligible for surgery had their medications adjusted. 75% of the patients and their families “found LVEM helpful.” In addition to assisting in diagnosis, LVEM led to “significant seizure reductions and improvements” in 45% of the pediatric epilepsy patients.
The researchers concluded that LVEM was both safe and effective for pediatric patients.
“LVEM is beneficial for pediatric patients from both a medical perspective and from the perspective of patients and their families, even if patients are ineligible for epilepsy surgery. LVEM is well-tolerated with a low risk of status epilepticus and injuries.”
Written by Natan Rosenfeld