Ictal hypoventilation contributes to cardiac arrhythmia and SUDEP: report on two deaths in video-EEG-monitored patients

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Bateman LM, Spitz M, Seyal M (2010) Ictal hypoventilation contributes to cardiac arrhythmia and SUDEP: report on two deaths in video-EEG-monitored patients. Epilepsia. 2010 May;51(5):916-20.

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Abstract: Sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is a common cause of death in patients with epilepsy, with cardiorespiratory dysfunction and a primary cessation of cerebral function proposed as causes. We report two cases of SUDEP in patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy undergoing video-EEG (electroencephalography) telemetry at two centers. Both had secondarily generalized convulsions. EEG, electrocardiography (ECG), and respiratory changes in these two patients are reported herein. Ictal/postictal hypoventilation may contribute to SUDEP with the resulting hypoxemia and acidosis leading to failure of recovery of cortical function and eventual cardiac failure.

Keywords: Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, SUDEP, Epilepsy monitoring unit, Hypoxemia, Hypercapnia.

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