Postictal generalized EEG suppression and SUDEP: a review

J Clin Neurophysiol. 2015 Feb;32(1):14-20. doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000147.


Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) remains a leading cause of epilepsy-related death, and yet, its pathogenic mechanisms remain ill-defined. Although epidemiological studies of SUDEP in heterogenous populations have established a number of clinical associations, evaluation and stratification of individual risk remains difficult. Thus, potential markers as predictors of risk of SUDEP are important not only clinically but also for research on SUDEP prevention. Recordings from rare monitored cases of SUDEP demonstrate postictal generalized EEG suppression after terminal seizures, raising expectations that postictal generalized EEG suppression may identify individuals at higher risk. In this review, we consider the literature on postictal generalized EEG suppression and evaluate its relevance and utility as a possible marker of SUDEP.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Death, Sudden / etiology*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors