Retrospective audit of postictal generalized EEG suppression in telemetry

Epilepsia. 2012 Feb;53(2):e21-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03296.x. Epub 2011 Nov 2.


Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) has on rare occasions occurred during electroencephalography (EEG) telemetry, and in such cases postictal EEG suppression (PI EEG-SUP) was frequently observed. More recently a retrospective case-control study reported this pattern as a risk factor for SUDEP. We retrospectively audited frequency and electroclinical features of this pattern as well as immediate management following tonic-clonic seizures during telemetry. Forty-eight patients with tonic-clonic seizures were identified from 470 consecutive EEG-videotelemetry reports. Thirteen patients (27%) with PI EEG-SUP (mean duration 38.1 s, range 6-69 s, median 38 s) were compared to 12 randomly selected controls. One seizure was analyzed per individual. Those with PI EEG-SUP were significantly more likely to be motionless after the seizure and have simple nursing interventions performed (suction, oxygen administration, placed in recovery position, vital signs checked). This pattern is relatively common and requires further study as a potential marker for increased mortality in epilepsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Death, Sudden* / etiology
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / complications
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Telemetry*
  • Young Adult