Why would my doctor order an EEG?

The most common reason doctors order an EEG is to determine whether a patient is having seizures. The EEG can provide some information about how likely it is that a patient is having seizures. The information from the EEG will be taken together with other clinical information, and your doctor will determine whether your child is experiencing seizures.

For patients who are having spells or episodes of some sort (such as twitching or staring spells), it is most helpful if the patient has one of the spells during the EEG recording. Please let the scheduling person know if there is a certain time of day when your child is most likely to have the spells.

Can non-Kennedy Krieger doctors order EEGs at Kennedy Krieger?

Yes, with the stipulation that they will be available to follow-up the results. EEGs are medical tests and require medical providers to order them.

Non-Kennedy Krieger providers need to call the lab at (443) 923-9150 to get a password to download a requisition form. We will not be able to schedule an EEG until we have received the requisition.

For patients who have never been seen at Kennedy Krieger, the parents will have to call our Intake Department at (443) 923-9400 in order to have their child entered into the Kennedy Krieger system.

What types of EEGs does Kennedy Krieger perform?

At Kennedy Krieger, our lab performs three types of EEGs:

  • Routine (approximately 30 minutes)
  • Extended (approximately two to four hours)
  • Overnight (from about 7:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.)

Your physician will select which EEG should be performed based on the information they hope to receive from the test.

We perform long-term monitoring through the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.

We do not recommend physicians decrease seizure medications to record seizures as might be ordered in an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.

How do I get results?

EEG results are typically available to the referring doctor approximately one to two weeks after the test is performed. Please contact the doctor who referred you about one to two weeks after the test. If you have an appointment with your Kennedy Krieger doctor sooner than two to three weeks after the test, please let the lab staff know as soon as possible so the results can be ready at that time.

The technologist is not permitted to tell you what he/she sees during or immediately after the test. Do not call the lab for your test results -- it is up to the doctor who referred you to communicate the results (and their meaning for the care of your child) to you.

How do I get a copy of my EEG?

If you want a copy of the EEG report, please call the Kennedy Krieger medical records department at (443) 923-1825. If you need a copy of the original data on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, please contact the lab at (443) 923-9128.

Is the EEG safe?

The EEG records the brain's natural electrical activity, just like a microphone records your voice. It does not change the brain's electrical activity. The EEG does not use any electrical shocks or radiation and does not have any side effects. It is safe at any age. The EEG is only able to measure very general brain activity and cannot read a person's thoughts.