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Seizure Semiology: Value in Identifying Seizure Origin

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2014

Mohammed M.S. Jan
The Department of Pediatrics, King AbdulAziz University Hospital Department of Neurosciences, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
John P. Girvin
Department of Neurosciences, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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The diagnosis of epilepsy depends upon a number of factors, particularly detailed and accurate seizure history, or semiology. Other diagnostic data, consisting of electroencephalography, video-monitoring of the seizures, and magnetic resonance imaging, are important in any comprehensive epilepsy program, particularly with respect to lateralizing and localizing the seizure focus, if such a focus exists, and with respect to determining the type of seizure or seizure syndrome. The aim of this review is to present a survey of important semiologic characteristics of various seizures that provide the historian with observations, which help to lateralize and localize epileptic zones. Clinical semiology is the starting point of understanding a seizure disorder and making the diagnosis of epilepsy. While it may not provide unequivocal evidence of localization of the epileptic focus, nevertheless it usually directs subsequent investigations, whose concordance is necessary for the ultimate localization.



Le diagnostic d'épilepsie repose sur un certain nombre de facteurs, principalement sur une histoire détaillée et exacte des crises c.-à-d. la séméiologie. Les autres données sur lesquelles repose le diagnostic sont l'électroencéphalographie (ÉEG), l'enregistrement sur vidéo et l'imagerie par résonance magnétique (IRM) qui sont importants dans un protocole complet d'évaluation, surtout pour la latéralisation et la localisation du foyer épileptique le cas échéant et pour l'identification du type d'épilepsie ou de syndrome épileptique. Le but de cette revue était de présenter les caractéristiques séméiologiques importantes des différentes épilepsies qui fournissent au clinicien les observations aidant à déterminer la latéralisation et la localisation des zones épileptogènes. La séméiologie clinique est le point de départ de la compréhension d'un désordre épileptique et du processus diagnostique. Bien qu'elle ne fournisse pas toujours une indication non équivoque sur la localisation du foyer épileptique, elle oriente habituellement l'évaluation du patient et la concordance des observations est nécessaire pour sa localisation.

Review Article
Copyright © The Canadian Journal of Neurological 2008


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