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Neurologia. 1999 Jan;14(1):29-34.

[Ictal semiology of temporal partial complex seizures: usefulness for localizing and lateralizing the origin of the attacks].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Neurofisiología Clínica, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, Londres, Reino Unido.



To review signs and symptoms associated with temporal complex partial seizures (CPS) and their utility in the localization and lateralization of seizure onset.


CPS are particularly resistant to the standard antiepileptic drugs. Since surgical treatment is a therapeutical alternative in patients with intractable seizures, localization and lateralization of seizure origin are the principal aims in the preoperative assessment. Video-EEG monitorization has made possible characterization of ictal behaviour and correlation with cerebral regions generating the epileptic discharge. Therefore, ictal semiology has increased its importance in the localization and lateralization of seizures. The utility of auras, automatisms, motor manifestations, speech disturbances and autonomic features have been reviewed in relation to this approach.


Viscerosensorial and experiential auras have been associated with temporal lobe epilepsy. The automatisms are not exclusive of temporal seizures and may be observed in frontal epilepsy and parietal and occipital seizures with spreading to temporal structures. There is not agreement in relation to head turning and version, therefore, this clinical sign should be used in correlation to other clinical manifestations. Distonic posturing, comprehensible ictal speech and postictal dysphasia appear to be the most reliable clinical signs in the lateralisation of temporal lobe seizures.

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