Relationship between interictal epileptiform discharges under medetomidine sedation and clinical seizures in canine idiopathic epilepsy

25 Jul 2020

Utsugi, S., Saito, M., Sato, T., Kunimi, M.

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Electroencephalography (EEG) is required for the diagnosis of canine idiopathic epilepsy as a highest confidence level of diagnosis by the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force; however, EEG is seldom used and a standardised assessment method has not been reported.


Interictal EEG was performed under medetomidine sedation in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy and in control dogs. Epileptiform discharge (ED) frequency was compared between dogs with more severe and less severe seizures during one month before EEG and control dogs.


All 10 dogs with more severe seizures had ED, as had 7 of 11 with less severe seizures. All epileptic dogs without ED had good long-term outcomes. ED frequency (number of ED per five minutes) was significantly higher in dogs with more severe (median, 4.5) than with less severe seizure (median, 0.46) and in the control dogs (median, 0.15). An ED frequency greater than 0.8 was considered to indicate epilepsy.


Interictal EEG in a light sleep state under medetomidine sedation had a high detection rate of ED, and ED frequency had a positive correlation with the recent severity of epileptic seizures. This allows interictal EEG recordings to be used as a simplified and objective test that may help to diagnose epilepsy and to assess the recent severity of the disease in dogs.