Cardiac manifestations of complex partial seizures

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Devinsky O, Price BH, and Cohen SI (1986) Cardiac manifestations of complex partial seizures. Am J Med 80:2 195–202.

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Abstract: Six patients with complex partial seizures in whom the first or most prominent manifestation was cardiovascular are described. "Anginal pain," which was usually atypical, developed in five patients (mean age 34), although three were admitted to coronary care units; sinus tachycardia developed in one, sinus bradycardia leading to syncope developed in one, and a cluster of symptoms suggestive of pheochromocytoma developed in one. The causal relationship between complex partial seizures and these symptoms is based on clinical history, electrodiagnostic studies indicating epilepsy (in five of six cases) without changes of myocardial ischemia, and response to anticonvulsant but not antianginal medications. Complex partial seizures that present with cardiovascular and other visceral symptoms represent an underdiagnosed, treatable disorder.



  • Report of 6 patients with complex partial seizures and cardiovascular symptoms. 5 patients had anginal pain. EEG indicated epilepsy and chemical assays showed no evidence of myocardial damage. Symptoms responded to anticonvulsant medications, but not antianginal drugs.


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