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MR imaging–compatible electroencephalography (EEG) electrode system for continuous EEG recordings in our epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) by comparing 100 consecutive patients with MR imaging–compatible and MR imaging–incompatible EEG recording electrodes who underwent MR imaging between 3:00 pm and 7:00 am. The MR imaging–compatible system captured seizures in 21/50 (42%) patients and clinically valuable new electrographic data in 13/50 (26%) patients during the study interval, whereas possible seizures were lost to recording in 19/50 (38%) patients in the MR imaging–incompatible system. EEG recording was comparable by both systems, but the nurses could disconnect and reconnect the patients to their electrode cables only in the MR imaging–compatible system during the study interval while the EEG technologists were off duty. This study shows that the MR imaging–compatible system could be used routinely for long-term monitoring of the patients in EMUs.
Although electroencephalography (EEG) remains the primary tool in the investigation of patients with epilepsy, MR imaging studies are essential for the evaluation of patients with medically intractable epilepsy. For patient safety and to avoid distortion of the images, EEG electrodes are routinely removed before MR imaging of patients admitted to the epilepsy monitoring units (EMUs) and are re-applied afterward. However, several studies have demonstrated that safe and distortion-free MR images can be obtained with EEG disk electrodes left in place.In addition, it has been shown that the removal of the EEG electrodes with collodion remover/acetone and their re-application immediately afterward can result in scalp abrasions, pain, and rare infection with blood-borne pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis.