What is the role of EEG in the workup of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)?

Updated: Aug 21, 2018
  • Author: David Neal Franz, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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EEG should be performed in patients with TSC in whom seizures are suspected. Many neurologists will have low threshold for performing EEG to assess for subclinical seizures; there is also increasing consideration of whether early antiseizure treatment may impact neurodevelopmental outcome. Follow-up EEGs are performed as clinically indicated. A multicenter NIH-sponsored trial that aims to assess the impact of EEG surveillance and early treatment with vigabatrin of asymptomatic infants with TSC on developmental outcome and epilepsy is currently underway.

Some patients with TSC have a coexisting recognizable epilepsy syndrome such as West syndrome (ie, infantile spasms) or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. If so, prolonged video-EEG telemetry may be useful to help in the following:

  • Detecting syndrome-specific EEG findings

  • Capturing and classifying each of the patient's multiple seizure types

  • Educating parents on which of the patient's "events" are seizures and which are nonepileptic behavioral events (especially atypical absences)

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