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Neurology. 2002 Jan 22;58(2):271-6.

The localizing value of the abdominal aura and its evolution: a study in focal epilepsies.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Munich, Germany.



To evaluate the localizing value of abdominal aura and its evolution into other seizure types.


The seizures of 491 consecutive patients with focal epilepsies were prospectively classified according to a recently introduced semiologic seizure classification. All patients underwent prolonged EEG video monitoring and MRI scan. Two hundred twenty-three patients (45%) had temporal lobe epilepsies (TLE); 113 patients (23%) had extratemporal epilepsies; and for 155 (32%) patients, the epilepsy could not be localized to one lobe.


Abdominal auras were more frequent with TLE (117 of 223 patients, 52%) than in extratemporal epilepsy (13 of 113 patients, 12%, p < 0.0001) and more frequent in mesial TLE (70 of 110 patients, 64%) than in neocortical TLE (16 of 41 patients, 39%, p = 0.007). No preponderance to one side existed. Abdominal auras were followed by ictal oral and manual automatisms (automotor seizure) in at least one seizure evolution in all patients with TLE (117 patients, 100%). In contrast, only two patients with extratemporal epilepsy (2 of 13 patients, 15%, p < 0.0001) had abdominal auras evolving into automotor seizures. An abdominal aura is associated with TLE with a probability of 73.6%. The evolution of an abdominal aura into an automotor seizure, however, increases the probability of TLE to 98.3%.


These results demonstrate that evolution of abdominal aura into automotor seizure permits differentiation between temporal lobe epilepsy and extratemporal epilepsy, showing that analysis of seizure evolution provides more localizing information than does the frequency of particular seizure types.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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