Pediatric epilepsy monitoring

Also known as: Epilepsy monitoring, pediatric

Pediatric epilepsy monitoring (EMU) is done with video for pediatric patients who have had difficulty controlling their seizures with medication, also known as “intractable seizures”.  Patients are admitted to the hospital for continuous EEG with video monitoring.  This testing helps determine the site of origin, frequency and type of seizure a patient is having.  Patients will usually have their seizure medication tapered or discontinued during their stay, so that a seizure can be captured.  The length of hospital stay varies, depending on when and how many seizures are captured.  Typical length of stay is three to five days.

Sometimes epilepsy monitoring reveals a specific area of the brain where a seizure originates, and the patient may be a candidate for surgery.  Patients may be brought in for a second EMU admission to have electrodes placed directly on the brain.  This is done in the operating room by a neurosurgeon. Intracranial monitoring may make location of the seizure more precise and help determine if surgery is an option.