The routine EEG in epilepsy: An useful diagnostic tool?

V. Crespi, E. Beghi, G. Bogliun, F. Petrarulo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


3264 consecutive routine EEG were reviewed to determine the prevalence of epileptiform abnormalities. Epileptiform activity occurred in 117 out of 527 unselected EEGs of epileptic patients (22,2%) and in 96 out of 2737 EEGs of other categories of patients (3,6%). Patients with 'definite' epilepsy had highest prevalence rates (29,39%); the overall prevalence of abnormalities in this group, including 'slow' abnormalities, was 55,2%. The chance of epileptiform activity was increased in EEG reports of epileptic with 'mixed' seizures (56,2% of cases), with frequent seizures (65% of cases with more than 5 seizures/year), and, furthermore, in young patients between 5 and 19 (48,7% of cases). We can conclude that in a EEG laboratory with unselected afferences the routine EEG evaluated for epileptiform patterns shows a good 'specificity' (96,4%) and a moderate 'sensibility'. In other words, the false-positive rate is small, whereas the false-negative rate is quite high.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBollettino - Lega Italiana contro l'Epilessia
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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