Ictal asystole: case report with review of literature

Acta Cardiol. 2012 Aug;67(4):461-4. doi: 10.1080/ac.67.4.2170689.


Cardiac arrhythmias are frequently observed during epileptic seizures. Mostly they are benign, but severe bradycardia and asystole occur in 0.27-0.5% of patients who have seizures on video-EEG monitoring units. Especially patients with partial seizures involving the insular, orbital frontal and anterior temporal lobe regions, are at risk. Ictal bradycardia could be a cause of SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy) and pacemaker insertion might therefore improve survival in selected cases, although more research is needed to prove this. We present a case of prolonged ictal asystole in a patient with newly diagnosed partial epilepsy originating from the temporal lobe.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / complications*
  • Bradycardia / complications
  • Electrocardiography
  • Epilepsy, Partial, Sensory / complications*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / complications*
  • Heart Arrest
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology
  • Unconsciousness / etiology