Beware of nonconvulsive seizures in prolonged disorders of consciousness: Long-term EEG monitoring is the key

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Neurophysiol. 2022 Jan 25;136:228-234. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2021.12.020. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the prevalence of epileptic seizures (ES) and epileptiform discharges (EDs) in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (DOC), and potential influence of amantadine on epilepsy.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study in 34 patients hospitalized in a DOC care unit for prolonged DOC between 2012 and 2018, who received a long-term EEG monitoring (LTM). We reviewed the prevalence of ES, EDs and nonconvulsive seizures (NCSz), the type of DOC recovery treatment administered, and neurological outcome.

RESULTS: LTM was more effective than standard EEGs in detecting EDs (32% vs 21% respectively). Moreover, 12% of the LTM showed NCSz. Among patients with EDs in LTM, 73% showed no EDs in standard EEG recordings, even when performed more than once. The presence of EDs and/or NCSz in LTM was significantly associated with the occurrence of remote clinical epileptic seizures (p = 0.017) but did not influence neurological outcome (p = 1). Amantadine was not associated with higher occurrence of EDs/NCSz or clinical seizures.

CONCLUSION: In our prolonged DOC population, LTM showed more pathological results (EDs and NCSz) than standard EEGs, which was significantly associated with remote clinical seizures.

SIGNIFICANCE: The use of LTM might be advised to rule out NCSz in patients with prolonged DOC.

PMID:35220161 | DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2021.12.020

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