Cardiac arrhythmias in the differential diagnosis of epilepsy

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Nousiainen U, Mervaala E, Uusitupa M, Ylinen A, and Sivenius J (1989) Cardiac arrhythmias in the differential diagnosis of epilepsy. J Neurol 236:2 93–6.

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Abstract: Symptomatic attacks or seizures associated with cardiac arrhythmias may cause difficulty in differential diagnosis. Two patients are reported in whom disturbances of cardiac conduction induced attacks which clinically resembled attacks of psychogenic and epileptic origin and were abolished after implantation of a demand-type pacemaker. A third patient is described who had epileptic seizures resulting in cardiac arrhythmias. In the differential diagnosis of these cases, simultaneous ambulatory EEG and ECG recording was essential.

Keywords: Cardiac arrhythmias - Epilepsy - Ambulatory EEG and ECG


  • Report of two patients with spells that responded to pacemaker implantation and a third who suffered arrhythmia (tachycardia then bradycardia) following seizures. Of note, one of these patients experienced epigastric aura before her spells, as also observed in (). Interestingly, one of the patients with apparent cardiogenic spells had a family history of epilepsy, which may be coincidental or could indicate


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