Photoparoxysmal response and its characteristics in a large EEG database using the SCORE system

Pirgit Meritam Larsen, Stephan Wüstenhagen, Daniella Terney, Elena Gardella, Jørgen Alving, Harald Aurlien, Sándor Beniczky*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Objective: To characterize photoparoxysmal EEG response (PPR) using a standardized protocol of intermittent photic stimulation (IPS) and standardized definitions for PPR, classified into six types. Methods: Using the SCORE system (Standardized Computer-Based Organized Reporting of EEG) we prospectively built a large database of standardized EEG annotations. In this study, we extracted the features related to PPR from the structured dataset consisting of 10,671 EEG recordings with IPS, from 7,188 patients. Results: The standardized IPS protocol elicited PPR in 375 recordings (3.5%), in 288 patients (4%), with a preponderance among young (11–20 years) and female patients (67%). PPR was persistent in patients with multiple recordings. The most frequent type of PPR was activation of preexisting epileptogenic area (58%), followed by generalized-PPR limited to the stimulus train (22%). We could not find any recording with self-sustained posterior response. Seizures were elicited in 27% of patients with PPR, most often myoclonic seizures and absences, in patients with self-sustained generalized PPR. Conclusions: The most common type of PPR was accentuation of preexisting epileptogenic area. Self-sustained posterior response could not be documented. Self-sustained generalized-PPR had the highest association with seizures. Significance: Using standardized stimulation protocol and definitions for PPR types, IPS provides high diagnostic yield.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalClinical Neurophysiology
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)365-371
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


    • Classification
    • EEG
    • Epilepsy
    • Intermittent photic stimulation
    • Photoparoxysmal response
    • Photosensitivity


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