Higher postictal parasympathetic activity following greater ictal heart rate increase in right- than left-sided seizures

Mitsunori Shimmura, Taira Uehara, Katsuya Ogata, Hiroshi Shigeto, Tomoko Maeda, Ayumi Sakata, Ryo Yamasaki, Jun ichi Kira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine how hemispheric laterality of seizure activity influences periictal heart rate variability (HRV) and investigate the ability of HRV parameters to discriminate right- and left-sided seizures. Methods: Long-term video electroencephalogram-electrocardiogram recordings of 54 focal seizures in 25 patients with focal epilepsy were reviewed. Using linear mixed models, we examined the effect of seizure laterality on linear (standard deviation of R-R intervals [SDNN], root mean square of successive differences [RMSSD], low frequency [LF] and high frequency [HF] power of HRV, and LF/HF) and nonlinear (standard deviation [SD]1, SD2, and SD2/SD1 derived from Poincaré plots) periictal HRV parameters, the magnitude of heart rate (HR) changes, and the onset time of increased HR. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) were used to determine the ability of these parameters to discriminate between right- and left-sided seizures. Results: Postictal SDNN, RMSSD, LF, HF, SD1, and SD2 were higher in right- than left-sided seizures. Root mean square of successive difference and HF were decreased after left- but not right-sided seizures. Standard deviation of R-R intervals, LF, and SD1 were increased after right- but not left-sided seizures. Increased ictal HR was earlier and larger in right- than left-sided seizures. Postictal HF showed the greatest area under the ROC curve (AUC) (0.87) for discriminating right- and left-sided seizures. Conclusions: Our data suggest that postictal parasympathetic activity is higher, whereas ictal HR increase is greater, in right- than left-sided seizures. Involvement of the right hemisphere may be associated with postictal autonomic instability. Postictal HRV parameters may provide useful information on hemispheric laterality of seizure activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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