A retrospective study of the correlation between duration of monitoring in the epilepsy monitoring unit and diagnostic yield.


Adenan MH, Khalil M, Loh KS, Kelly L, Shukralla A, Klaus S, Kilbride R, Mullins G, Widdess-Walsh P, Kinney M, Delanty N, El-Naggar H.



Objective: Long-term video-electroencephalographic (LTVEM) monitoring is a valuable tool in the evaluation of paroxysmal clinical events. However, vEEG itself is costly. Hence, we aimed to establish if longer duration of monitoring (DOM) is associated with higher diagnostic yield.

Method: A retrospective review of patients admitted into the epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) for the diagnostic evaluation of paroxysmal events was performed. Patients’ demographic, clinical characteristics, and vEEG data were analyzed. In the cohort of patients with DOM > 7 days, the reasons for prolonged DOM were identified and the differences in clinical characteristics and vEEG data between conclusive and inconclusive studies were analyzed.

Result: A total of 501 patients were included. Four hundred and thirty-six (87 %) patients had conclusive studies. Of these patients, 67.9 % patients with conclusive studies received diagnosis within the first 7 days of monitoring with the highest on day 7. The likelihood of conclusive studies decreased beyond 7 days. A total of 175 had DOM > 7 days, of which 140 (80 %) had conclusive studies. In the cohort with DOM > 7 days, patients with previous abnormal routine EEG, previous vEEG monitoring, first event recorded before day 5 of admission and ≥1 events recorded during vEEG monitoring were more likely to have conclusive studies. The most common reason for prolonging DOM beyond 7 days was to adequately record multiple semiologically distinctive events (76 %).

Conclusion: Our study supports that longer DOM is associated with an increase in diagnostic yield. More than one-third of our cohort were monitored beyond 7 days with majority (80 %) being conclusive. Our findings may guide clinicians in planning the DOM and predicting the likelihood of conclusive vEEG studies in patients with prolonged DOM based on the clinical characteristics and vEEG data.


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