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Ann Clin Neurophysiol > Volume 9(2); 2007 > Article
Ann Clin Neurophysiol. 2007; 9(2): 69-74.
Controversies in Usefulness of EEG for Clinical Decision in Epilepsy: Cons.
Seo-Young Lee, Sang-Kun Lee, and Nam Hee Kim
Copyright © 2007 The Korean Society of Clinical Neurophysiology
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a representative diagnostic tool in epilepsy. However, there are several points of debate on the role of EEG in diagnosis and management of epilepsy. We suggest that EEG has some limitations for differential diagnosis from nonepileptic episodic diseases, classification of epilepsy, prediction of recurrence, and evaluation of treatment response. Interictal EEG cannot diagnose or exclude epilepsy because interictal epileptic discharge (IED) is frequently absent in epilepsy and can appear in nonepileptic conditions. Although EEG is helpful in classification of epilepsy, focal spikes in generalized epilepsy and secondary bilateral synchrony in localization related epilepsy cause interrater disagreement. It is controversial whether EEG predicts recurrence after the first seizure in adults. The predictive value of EEG in antiepileptic drug (AED) withdrawal is not absolute. The prognosis after AED withdrawal depends on epilepsy syndrome. Many studies could not confirm the value of EEG in assessing the treatment response. After all, epilepsy is clinically diagnosed and assessed. Interictal EEG alone does not provide decisive information and routine follow-up of EEG is not recommended.
Key words: Electroencephalogram (EEG), Usefulness, Prognosis
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