Paroxysmal slow wave events predict epilepsy following a first seizure

Daniel Zelig, Ilan Goldberg, Oded Shor, Shira Ben Dor, Amit Yaniv-Rosenfeld, Dan Z. Milikovsky, Jonathan Ofer, Hamza Imtiaz, Alon Friedman, Felix Benninger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Management of a patient presenting with a first seizure depends on the risk of additional seizures. In clinical practice, the recurrence risk is estimated by the treating physician using the neurological examination, brain imaging, a thorough history for risk factors, and routine scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) to detect abnormal epileptiform activity. The decision to use antiseizure medication can be challenging when objective findings are missing. There is a need for new biomarkers to better diagnose epilepsy following a first seizure. Recently, an EEG-based novel analytical method was reported to detect paroxysmal slowing in the cortical network of patients with epilepsy. The aim of our study is to test this method's sensitivity and specificity to predict epilepsy following a first seizure. Methods: We analyzed interictal EEGs of 70 patients admitted to the emergency department of a tertiary referral center after a first seizure. Clinical data from a follow-up period of at least 18 months were available. EEGs of 30 healthy controls were also analyzed and included. For each EEG, we applied an automated algorithm to detect paroxysmal slow wave events (PSWEs). Results: Of patients presenting with a first seizure, 40% had at least one additional recurring seizure and were diagnosed with epilepsy. Sixty percent did not report additional seizures. A significantly higher occurrence of PSWEs was detected in the first interictal EEG test of those patients who were eventually diagnosed with epilepsy. Conducting the EEG test within 72 h after the first seizure significantly increased the likelihood of detecting PSWEs and the predictive value for epilepsy up to 82%. Significance: The quantification of PSWEs by an automated algorithm can predict epilepsy and help the neurologist in evaluating a patient with a first seizure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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