Research Article| Volume 144, 109252, July 2023

The impact of the time to last seizure before admission to the epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) on epilepsy classifications


      • Time to last seizure may influence the time to record earlier seizures during the admission to epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU).
      • Time to last seizure prior to EMU admission appeared to have an impact on epilepsy classifications and length of hospital stay (LOHS).
      • The utilization of EMU might be enhanced by considering the time to last seizure before admission to EMU.


      Introduction and background

      The impact of the timing of the last seizure (TTLS) prior to admission to the epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) on epilepsy classification is unclear for which we conducted this study.


      We reviewed patients with epilepsy admitted to EMU between January 2021 and April 2022 and identified TTLS before EMU admission. We considered EMU yield as whether; it confirmed epilepsy classification, added new knowledge to the classification, or failed to classify epilepsy.


      We studied 156 patients. There were 72 (46%) men, with a mean age of 30. TTLS was divided according to a one- or three-month cutoff. We confirmed the pre-EMU epilepsy classification in 52 (33%) patients, learned new findings on epilepsy classification in 80 (51%) patients, and failed to classify epilepsy in 24 (15%) patients. Patients with “confirmed epilepsy classifications” reported seizures sooner to EMU admission than other groups (0.7 vs. 2.3 months, p-value = 0.02, 95% CI; −1.8, −1.3). Also, the odds of confirming epilepsy classification were more than two times in patients with TTLS within a month compared to those with TTLS of more than a month (OR = 2.4, p-value = 0.04, 95% CI; 1.1, 5.9). The odds were also higher when the 3-month TTLS cutoff was considered (OR = 6.2, p-value = 0.002, 95% CI; 1.6, 40.2). Confirming epilepsy classification was also associated with earlier seizures recorded at one- or three-month cutoff (OR = 2.1 and OR = 2.3, respectively, p-value = 0.05). We did not observe similar findings when we modified the classification or failed to reach a classification.


      The timing of the last seizure before EMU admission appeared to influence the yield of EMU and enhanced the confirmation of epilepsy classifications. Such findings can improve the utilization of EMU in the presurgical evaluation of patients with epilepsy.


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