This is most commonly ordered investigation. It records electrical activity in the brain. Abnormal electrical activity can be recorded in 40-50% children with epilepsy. 4% of normal children may also abnormal electrical activity. Therefore, EEG needs to be interpreted carefully with clinical correlation. Also interpreting pediatric EEGs needs certain amount of expertise and training and therefore better reported by a pediatric neurologist.
EEG is recorded to document the abnormality in the electrical activity and helps in diagnosis and prognosis. EEG is a non-invasive test and does not cause any harm.
Instructions for EEG recording:
- Hair should be washed before EEG and there should no oil on the head.
- The child needs to sleep during the test (natural sleep is preferred), therefore he needs to sleep less previous night (sleep withdrawal). He should be made to sleep late at around 12.00 pm and woken up early at 4.00 am. The child should not be allowed to sleep during the travel to EEG lab.
- No fasting is required. He should have proper meal before the tests.
- Sedatives which are safe are used to sedate the child if he does not sleep naturally.