Postictal generalized electroencephalographic suppression is associated with generalized seizures

Epilepsy Behav. 2011 Jul;21(3):271-4. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.04.008. Epub 2011 May 14.


Postictal generalized electroencephalographic suppression (PGES) may be involved in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). We examined whether the occurrence of PGES depends on seizure type and whether PGES occurs more frequently in people with epilepsy who died suddenly. EEG recordings of people with pharmacoresistant focal epilepsies who died from SUDEP after presurgical video/EEG telemetry were compared with recordings of living controls. To test if PGES depends on seizure type, EEG recordings of people with temporal lobe epilepsy who had complex partial seizures (CPS) and secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) were reviewed. A total of 122 seizures in 57 individuals have been included. PGES was observed in 15% of all seizures in 26% of all individuals. Secondarily GTCS were significantly associated with PGES. Neither presence nor duration of PGES differed between the SUDEP and control groups. In conclusion, PGES is facilitated by secondarily GTCS, but does not seem to be an independent risk factor for SUDEP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Waves / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Death, Sudden / etiology*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / complications*
  • Seizures / pathology
  • Telemetry
  • Video Recording