Assessment and cost comparison of sleep-deprived EEG, MRI and PET in the prediction of surgical treatment for epilepsy

John DellaBadia, William L. Bell, John W. Keyes, Vincent P. Mathews, Stephen S. Glazier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Our aim was to determine if less expensive interictal indices can predict which epilepsy patients may benefit from the more expensive comprehensive pre-surgical evaluation. Surgical treatment was determined based on the results of a comprehensive in-patient continuous video-EEG monitoring. This evaluation included three interictal tests, which were reviewed retrospectively-2 hour-sleep-deprived electroencephalogram (SDEEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET). Sixty-nine patients were evaluated with 35 patients having focal resection (33 temporal, two frontal). When two or more interictal tests were positive, 77% (27/35) went to surgery, but when one test was positive 23% (8/34) had surgery. When all tests were negative, only a single patient (1/13 or 7.7%) had surgery, a frontal resection. The positive predictive value for any single interictal test was 68%, while it was higher for any combination of two positive tests (77-83%). PET was the most sensitive (0.86) single interictal test, compared to SDEEG (0.66) and MRI (0.66). The odds ratio for predicting surgical treatment for a positive PET, SDEEG, or MRI was 8.57, 4.01, and 4.01, respectively. MRI was three and PET was six times the cost of a SDEEG. The combination of SDEEG and MRI had the best cost/PPV ratio. Seventy-nine percent (1 l/ 14) of the patients with three positive tests were seizure free following focal resection compared to 43% (9/21) when less than three tests were positive (P ≤ 0.05). Interictal tests may predict which patients are most likely to benefit from comprehensive pre-surgical evaluation. Two or more positive tests are the most predictive. If all tests are negative, it is unlikely that the patient would qualify for surgical treatment. The combination of SDEEG and MRI may be more cost-effective as outpatient screening tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2002


  • Cost comparison
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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