Diagnostic Yield of Routine EEG in Adults with Active Epilepsy
McGinty RN., Costello DJ., Kinirons P., McNamara B.
Routine electroencephalogram (rEEG) is an important investigation in suspected seizures but can be normal in people with epilepsy. The diagnostic yield of rEEG varies considerably according to the patient group studied. We aimed to estimate the diagnostic yield of rEEG in a real-world cohort of adults with active epilepsy—a population not previously reported. This single centre study evaluated neurophysiology findings for adults with prolonged inpatient video EEG (vEEG)-confirmed active epilepsy, who had at least one prior rEEG. Sixty-eight patients had a total of 171 rEEGs, of which 93 (54.4%) were normal, 42 (24.6%) found non-specific abnormalities and 36 (21.1%) captured interictal epileptiform abnormalities (IIEAs). Serial rEEGs revealed a 22.1% yield of IIEAs on the first test, with the cumulative yield peaking at 33.8% on the fourth rEEG. This study adds to existing evidence regarding the limited diagnostic usefulness of serial rEEG in patients with active epilepsy.