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Keywords:

  • Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy;
  • SUDEP;
  • Epilepsy monitoring unit;
  • Hypoxemia;
  • Hypercapnia

Summary

Sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is a common cause of death in patients with epilepsy, with cardiorespiratory dysfunction and a primary cessation of cerebral function proposed as causes. We report two cases of SUDEP in patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy undergoing video-EEG (electroencephalography) telemetry at two centers. Both had secondarily generalized convulsions. EEG, electrocardiography (ECG), and respiratory changes in these two patients are reported herein. Ictal/postictal hypoventilation may contribute to SUDEP with the resulting hypoxemia and acidosis leading to failure of recovery of cortical function and eventual cardiac failure.