Objective: Repeated routine electroencephalography (EEG) or even long-term video-EEG monitoring (VEM) does not always record interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) in some patients with epilepsy. The present study investigated whether focal seizures detected by VEM and focal abnormalities on neuroimaging are useful for the diagnosis of patients with focal epilepsy without IEDs. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 409 consecutive patients with focal epilepsy (207 men, aged 9 to 76 years) who underwent 4- or 5-day VEM, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) for diagnosis to identify patients without IEDs. The occurrence of focal seizures during VEM and the presence of focal abnormalities on neuroimaging were investigated in those patients. The occurrence rate of seizures during VEM was investigated in patients with daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly seizure frequency based on history-taking. Results: Ninety-five (23.2%) of 409 patients with focal epilepsy did not have IEDs. Fifty-five (57.9%) of the 95 patients had focal seizures during VEM. Fifty-four patients (56.8%) showed focal abnormalities compatible with seizure semiology on neuroimaging investigations. Neither seizure recordings nor neuroimaging abnormalities were seen in 16 (16.8%) of the 95 patients. The occurrence rate of seizures during VEM depended on the seizure frequency at history-taking. However, 28 (45.9%) of 61 patients with monthly and yearly seizure frequency had focal seizures during 4- or 5-day VEM with seizure induction. Conclusions: Video-EEG monitoring can detect focal seizures in patients with focal epilepsy but no IEDs. Comprehensive assessment including VEM and neuroimaging study is important for the diagnosis.
- Focal epilepsy
- Focal seizure
- Interictal epileptiform discharge
- Long-term video electroencephalography monitoring
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Behavioral Neuroscience