Out-of-hospital multimodal seizure detection: a pilot study

Jonas Munch Nielsen, Ástrós Eir Kristinsdóttir, Ivan Chrilles Zibrandtsen, Paolo Masulli, Martin Ballegaard, Tobias Søren Andersen, Troels Wesenberg Kjær

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Background Out-of-hospital seizure detection aims to provide clinicians and patients with objective seizure documentation in efforts to improve the clinical management of epilepsy. In-patient studies have found that combining different modalities helps improve the seizure detection accuracy. In this study, the objective was to evaluate the viability of out-of-hospital seizure detection  using wearable ECG, accelerometry and behind-the-ear electroencephalography (EEG). Furthermore, we examined the signal quality of out-of-hospital EEG recordings.
Methods Seventeen patients were monitored for up to 5 days. A support vector machine based seizure detection algorithm was applied using both in-patient seizures and out-of-hospital electrographic seizures in one patient. To assess the content of noise in the EEG signal, we compared the root-mean-square (RMS) of the recordings to a reference threshold derived from manually categorised segments of EEG recordings.
Results In total 1427 hours of continuous EEG was recorded. In one patient, we identified 15 electrographic focal impaired awareness seizures with a motor component. After training our algorithm on in-patient data, we found a sensitivity of 91% and a false alarm rate (FAR) of 18/24 hours for the detection of out-of-hospital seizures using a combination of EEG and ECG recordings. We estimated that 30.1% of the recorded EEG signal was physiological EEG, with an RMS value within the reference threshold.
Conclusion We found that detection of out-of-hospital focal impaired awareness seizures with a motor component is possible and that applying multiple modalities improves the diagnostic accuracy compared with unimodal EEG. However, significant challenges remain regarding a high FAR and that only 30.1% of the EEG data represented usable signal.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000442
JournalBMJ Open
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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