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Epilepsy Behav. 2008 Jul;13(1):115-8. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2008.02.018. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Sensitivity and specificity of video alone versus electroencephalography alone for the diagnosis of partial seizures.

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Peter Kellaway Section of Neurophysiology, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.


We examined the usefulness of video versus EEG in isolation for the differentiation of epileptic seizures (ES) from psychogenic nonepileptic events (PNEE). Video-EEG recordings of 43 events in 43 patients (27 with ES and 16 with PNEE) were analyzed by experienced clinical epileptologists/electroencephalographers blinded to the patients' clinical histories. Both the video and EEG were scored independently by the same reader for each event. Relying on video recordings alone, the readers correctly identified ES with a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 94%. Based on EEG data alone, the readers correctly identified ES with a sensitivity of 89% and specificity of 94%. Semiologically, a gradual evolving buildup of visible symptoms, reaching maximal behavioral intensity within 70 seconds of event onset, was a reliable indicator of ES. No patient with ES demonstrated eye closure at the time of peak behavioral manifestations. Although several additional semiologic features were statistically associated with either ES or PNEE, they were less reliably present and, hence, less clinically useful. Correct categorization of some neurobehavioral events can be made by experienced epileptologists on the basis of video or EEG recordings during an event, without simultaneous review of both provided that the full event is recorded. Home video recordings may represent a useful screening tool for a subset of patients with neurobehavioral events of unclear etiology.

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