Objectives: A measure to increase the electroencephalogram (EEG) outcome includes a short period of nap sleep during a routine standard EEG with the aim of increasing its sensitivity to interictal abnormalities or provoking seizures. As part of an ongoing auditing of our EEG data, we aimed to investigate the contribution of nap sleep during routine outpatient department based EEGs requested for a variety of reasons. Methods: EEG data at the Department of Clinical Physiology at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman, from July 2006 to December 2007 and from January 2009 to December 2010 (total 42 months) were reviewed. The EEGs were for patients older than 13-years referred for possible epilepsy, blackouts, headache, head trauma, and other non-specified attacks. The recording period was between 20 to 40 minutes. Abnormalities were identified during waking and nap sleep periods. Results: A total of 2 547 EEGs were reviewed and 744 were abnormal (29.2%). Of those abnormal EEGs, nap sleep was obtained in 258 (34.7%) EEGs, and 39 (15.1%) showed abnormalities during nap sleep. Nineteen out of the 39 (48.7%) EEGs were abnormal during awake and nap sleep; and 20 (51.3%) were abnormal during nap sleep, which represented only 2.7% of the total abnormal EEGs (n = 744). Conclusions: The contribution of the short nap sleep to the pickup rate of interictal abnormalities in EEG was minimal. We recommend the EEG service to include one cycle of spontaneous sleep EEG directed at patients with a history suggestive of epilepsy if their awake EEGs are normal.
ASJC Scopus subject areas