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February 1986

Sudden Unexpected Death of Epileptic Patient due to Cardiac Arrhythmia After Seizure

Author Affiliations

From the Francis M. Forster Epilepsy Center, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wis (Dr Dasheiff and Ms Dickinson); and the Department of Neurology, Clinical Sciences Center, University of Wisconsin—Madison (Dr Dasheiff). Dr Dasheiff is now with the University of Pittsburgh.

Arch Neurol. 1986;43(2):194-196. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520020080028

• Sudden unexpected death (SUD) occurred in an epileptic patient after a seizure. The patient had a witnessed seizure with electrocardiographic evidence of a cardiac arrhythmia. Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the hospital was ineffective. Autopsy revealed no anatomic cause of death. This case supports a cardiac cause for SUD in this patient. The mechanism of death remains speculative despite its setting in an epilepsy center. The seven-year experience with SUD at the epilepsy center is reviewed.