Long-term video EEG monitoring is used to evaluate a child’s brain activity and behavioral activity for an extended period of time. This long-term video EEG monitoring is crucial for determining a child’s epilepsy syndrome and seizure types, as well as pinpointing where seizures come from and how they spread to other areas of the brain. If a specific area in the brain is involved consistently, then that area is likely to be the site of seizure origin.
We offer two state-of-the-art Epilepsy Monitoring Units (EMU). Our EMU at CHOC Children’s Orange includes eight private rooms, as well as five portable monitoring systems that can be used in any area of the hospital. The EMU at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital offers four private inpatient rooms. Both EMUs are staffed 24/7 by our registered EEG technologists to monitor patients around the clock. We also have full-time pediatric epileptologists who can access the EEG data remotely at any time. This technology is also used in other hospital units, including the cardiovascular intensive care unit, the neurocritical neonatal intensive care unit and the CHOC Mission NICU to monitor brain activity.
During this evaluation, your child will stay with us in the hospital for several days, with a reduction in their anti-epileptic medications. The goal is to capture several of the child’s typical seizures. If your child is having long term video EEG monitoring done, he or she will wear an EEG transmitter, which is connected to a wall outlet. The transmitter includes up to 40 electrodes that are painlessly attached to your child’s scalp using a special paste. Your child’s head is then wrapped in gauze to secure the electrodes in place. Our child life specialists can be on hand to help your child through the process, using calming and distraction techniques. Wall-mounted infrared video cameras will also record your child during long-term video EEG monitoring. Both recordings are transmitted digitally so a physician can monitor them, even from another location. Your child can move about and do normal activities like napping, talking and watching TV.
In some cases, if your child is having epilepsy surgery, your child’s doctor may use intracranial long-term monitoring to pinpoint the seizure focus. This more invasive procedure involves placing electrodes directly on the surface of the brain. Learn more about intracranial monitoring.
Based on the results of the diagnostic evaluation, our pediatric epileptologists can determine the type of seizures and epilepsy syndrome, as well as make individualized treatment recommendations for your child – or rule out epilepsy as a diagnosis altogether. Learn more about our treatments for epilepsy and our Comprehensive Epilepsy Program.