Atrio-ventricular block: a possible explanation of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy

Acta Neurol Scand. 2002 Oct;106(4):229-33. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0404.2002.02017.x.


Introduction: This is the third case report describing the occurrence of total atrio-ventricular (AV)-block as a life threatening cardiac arrhythmia complicating epileptic seizures.

Case report: A 56-year-old right-handed man was admitted to our hospital for surgical assessment of his medically intractable epilepsy. During the hospitalization he was enrolled in a study investigating cardiac complication of epileptic seizures as the possible cause of sudden unexplained death among epileptics.

Discussion: To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to employ simultaneous video-electroencephalogram-, Holter- and pulse oximetry-recordings of our patients in the description of this complication. These recordings allowed us to discuss the evidence and consequences of this particular cardiac abnormality as an explanation of sudden unexplained death in epileptic seizures, especially those of temporal origin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Heart Block / etiology*
  • Heart Block / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oximetry
  • Video Recording