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Video Monitoring Unit

Long Term Epilepsy Monitoring

What is long term epilepsy monitoring (LTEM)?

This refers to a prolonged EEG recording with video correlation for clinical manifestations during the EEG. Video correlation aids in the diagnosis of epileptogenic activity and has a higher diagnostic success rate. Generally the LTEM stay lasts about 5 days and is continuous except when the patient is in the bathroom.


It is indicated in patients that have little success in terms of seizure control despite that fact that they are on antiepileptic treatments. The LTEM is used to answer the following questions.


  • Are the episodes epileptic seizures?
  • If not, what are they?
  • If they are epileptic seizures, what type of epilepsy is it?
  • If the seizures are focal, from where are they arising?

What to expect during LTEM?

After admission into the hospital has occurred patients will be sent to the neurology unit were the monitoring occurs.

Prerecording procedure:

  • Small electrodes filled with gel or electrode paste will be placed on areas of the scalp that have been carefully measured and marked.
  • These electrodes will then be plugged into equipment which be used to record vital brain activity and information.
  • For the necessity to record seizures anticonvulsant medication will be lowered or stopped by your doctor.

How does the patient prepare for the procedure?

  • All allergies need to be reported prior to admission to the technologist.
  • Make sure that your scalp and hair are clean and free of hair products e.g. hair gel, oils, extensions etc.

What to carry along?

  • Carry comfortable clothing for the length of your stay.
  • Hygiene articles such as toothpaste, soap, deodorants etc.
  • Hobbies or activities that can easily be performed in bed to occupy you for the length of your stay e.g. a handheld gaming device, cell phones or laptops, crosswords etc.

What happens after LTEM?

As soon as the recording has stopped the scalp electrodes will be removed. This is at times unpleasant due to the use strong chemicals such as acetone.

A provisional report will then be provided by the doctor before the patient leaves the hospital. The official report will be provided by the doctor after the data provided by the technologist is reviewed, this can take up to 2 weeks.