Literature Monitor

Most Specialists Agree on Epilepsy Diagnosis

Epilepsy Res; 2017 Jan; Bergin et al.


Epileptologists and neurologists usually agree on the diagnosis of epilepsy, although agreement amongst epilepsy specialists is better than agreement among neurologists with a special interest in the disease.

  • Thirty cases involving 6 children and 24 adults with 21 epileptic seizures and 9 nonepileptic attacks were presented to an international group of 189 experts for evaluation.
  • The analysis, referred to as the EpiNet Study, was designed to undertake clinical trials of epilepsy at multiple centers around the world.
  • Among the issues that physicians were asked to resolve: How likely did the patient have epilepsy, were the seizures generalized or focal, and what was the likely etiology.
  • Overall there was good agreement for the diagnosis of epilepsy (kappa = 0.61) but fair to moderate agreement on the type of seizure and its cause (kappa 0.40 and 0.41).
  • Among 53 epileptologists, agreement on the diagnosis was better (kappa = 0.66) than it was for neurologists with a special interest in epilepsy (kappa= 0.58).

Bergin PS, Beghi E, Sadleir LG, et al. Do neurologists around the world agree when diagnosing epilepsy? – Results of an international EpiNet study. Epilepsy Res. 2017;139(1):43-50.

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