Approach to diagnosis

Up to 3% of children under the age of 15 years will experience a seizure and many more will have a paroxysmal event.

It is a common reason for children to present to health care professionals. Interpretation of these events can be challenging.

When a seizure is expected, investigations can be performed (such as an EEG) which add collateral evidence for the diagnosis.

It is important to come to a syndromal diagnosis as this has implications on investigations, management and prognosis.

The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) is closely involved in the classification of Seizures and Epilepsies. Children should have a diagnosis in keeping with this classification. 

The following document provides an detailed information on the revised classification of seizure types by the ILAE  in 2017:

In 2014, the ILAE Commission on Classification and Terminology also released an online Diagnostic Manual for Epilepsy, called which provides further useful information.



Information last reviewed: 14/01/2021.