Team studies EEGs in the ER to improve seizure diagnosis, care

May 19, 2014 by Katy Cosse, University of Cincinnati

(Medical Xpress)—Even though it could impact their admission or care in the hospital, few seizing patients receive a diagnostic electroencephalogram, or EEG, in the emergency department, says a new study presented this week by University of Cincinnati researchers.

The research team, led by assistant professor of emergency medicine and neurosurgery William Knight, MD, looked at the use of EEGs to diagnose status epilepticus, a life-threatening condition in which the brain is in a state of persistent seizure for more than five minutes.

Status epilepticus affects more than 100,000 people each year in the United States, and the use of an EEG in the could assist with diagnosing who need immediate care for a persistent seizure. [KC1]

To better understand how EEGs are used in patients suspected of , Knight and his collaborators conducted a retrospective chart review of all adults who came to the emergency department of an urban, tertiary care hospital with seizures or suspected status epilepticus and who received an EEG within 24 hours of admission.

They found that over a quarter of patients with suspected seizures had an EEG performed in the ED, but only 6 percent of the EEGs resulted in a diagnosis of seizures. Only 2 percent of EEGs performed after a patient was admitted to the hospital were positive—demonstrating that some patients with a negative EEG may not need to be admitted.

"We showed that overall, a very small proportion of seizure patients in the ED end up with status epilepticus," says Knight. "We also concluded that there may be future opportunities to utilize ED observation units to obtain EEGs in seizure patients—which may ultimately reduce hospital and/or (ICU) admissions."

Explore further: Widely used drug no more effective than FDA approved medication in treating epileptic seizures

Related Stories

Widely used drug no more effective than FDA approved medication in treating epileptic seizures

May 14, 2014
A National Institutes of Health-sponsored study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that lorazepam - a widely used but not yet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug for children ...

Study examines effectiveness of medications for treating epileptic seizures in children

April 22, 2014
Although some studies have suggested that the drug lorazepam may be more effective or safer than the drug diazepam in treating a type of epileptic seizures among children, a randomized trial finds that lorazepam is not better ...

EEG identifies seizures in hospital patients, study finds

March 27, 2013
Electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures and records electrical activity in the brain, is a quick and efficient way of determining whether seizures are the cause of altered mental status (AMS) and spells, according to a ...

Electroencephalography underused investigative tool in hospitals

April 1, 2013
A retrospective study of patients who had in-hospital electroencephalography (EEG) has established that EEG is a valuable tool that could be deployed more widely to identify treatable causes of impaired consciousness in the ...

Early treatment with AED reduces duration of febrile seizures

February 6, 2014
New research shows that children with febrile status epilepticus (FSE) who receive earlier treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) experience a reduction in the duration of the seizure. The study published in Epilepsia, ...

Surprising results from study of non-epileptic seizures

December 2, 2012
A Loyola University Medical Center neurologist is reporting surprising results of a study of patients who experience both epileptic and non-epileptic seizures.

Recommended for you

How your brain remembers what you had for dinner last night

January 17, 2018
Confirming earlier computational models, researchers at University of California San Diego and UC San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Arizona and Louisiana, report that episodic memories are encoded in the hippocampus ...

Recording a thought's fleeting trip through the brain

January 17, 2018
University of California, Berkeley neuroscientists have tracked the progress of a thought through the brain, showing clearly how the prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain coordinates activity to help us act in response ...

Midbrain 'start neurons' control whether we walk or run

January 17, 2018
Locomotion comprises the most fundamental movements we perform. It is a complex sequence from initiating the first step, to stopping when we reach our goal. At the same time, locomotion is executed at different speeds to ...

A 'touching sight': How babies' brains process touch builds foundations for learning

January 16, 2018
Touch is the first of the five senses to develop, yet scientists know far less about the baby's brain response to touch than to, say, the sight of mom's face, or the sound of her voice.

Brain zaps may help curb tics of Tourette syndrome

January 16, 2018
Electric zaps can help rewire the brains of Tourette syndrome patients, effectively reducing their uncontrollable vocal and motor tics, a new study shows.

Researchers identify protein involved in cocaine addiction

January 16, 2018
Mount Sinai researchers have identified a protein produced by the immune system—granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF)—that could be responsible for the development of cocaine addiction.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.