Objective: To clarify whether the presence and timing of peri-ictal heart rate (HR) change is a seizure lateralizing sign in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE). Methods: Long-term video EEGs were retrospectively reviewed in 21 patients, 7 men and 14 women aged 13 to 67 years, diagnosed as mTLE with MRI lesions in the mesial temporal structures (hippocampal sclerosis in 20 cases, amygdala hypertrophy in 1 case). Seventy-seven partial seizures without secondary generalization were extracted. Peri-ictal HR change was compared between 29 right seizures (9 patients) and 48 left seizures (12 patients). Results: HR abruptly increased in all 29 right seizures and 42 of 48 left seizures. Onset time of HR increase in relation to ictal EEG onset was significantly earlier in right seizures than in left seizures (mean 6 SD, 211.5 6 14.8 vs 9.2 6 21.7 seconds; p , 0.0001). Time of maximum HR was also significantly earlier in right seizures than in left seizures (36.0 6 18.1 vs 58.0 6 28.7 seconds; p , 0.0001). Maximum HR changes from baseline showed no significant difference between right and left seizures (47.5 6 19.1 vs 40.8 6 20.0/min). Conclusions: Significantly earlier tachycardia in right than left mTLE seizures supports previous hypotheses that the right cerebral hemisphere is dominant in the sympathetic network. No HR change, or delayed tachycardia possibly due to seizure propagation to the right hemisphere, may be a useful lateralizing sign of left mTLE seizures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology