What is an EEG?

EEG is the name commonly used for electroencephalography. EEG is the most important test for diagnosing epilepsy because it records the electrical activity of the brain. It is safe and painless. Electrodes (small, metal, cup-shaped disks) are attached to your child’s scalp and connected by wires to an electrical box. These wires can only record electrical activity; they do not deliver any electrical current to your child’s scalp. The box is then connected to the EEG machine.

The EEG machine records the brain’s electrical activity as a series of squiggles called traces. Each trace corresponds to a different region of the brain. EEGs used to be recorded on paper, but now we use computerized, paperless EEGs.

The Pediatric Epilepsy Center at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital utilizes state-of-the-art equipment, including paperless EEGs. Our pediatric neurologists who work here have gone through special training in diagnosing and treating epilepsy.

What is a video EEG (VEEG)?

With VEEG, your child is videotaped at the same time as his or her EEG is recorded. The recording is usually carried out over several days. The doctor usually views the video and EEG images side-by-side on a split screen. In this way, your child's doctor can see exactly how your child’s behavior during seizures is related to the electrical activity in his or her brain.

Because your child is in the hospital under close supervision, we allow him or her to have some seizures, which our experts can study. The doctor may reduce or even stop seizure medicines to make seizures more likely. Other techniques include sleep deprivation, hyperventilation (very rapid or deep breathing) and exercise.

VEEG is most helpful in determining whether seizures with unusual features are actually epilepsy, identifying the type of seizures and pinpointing the region of the brain where seizures begin. Locating the region precisely is essential if epilepsy surgery is being considered.

VEEG Preparation & Packing List

Your child may be admitted for VEEG monitoring for several days. The following list is provided to help prepare you for your stay. You know your child best and can bring what would make him or her most comfortable during the visit. Our Child Life playroom has additional toys and materials to support children limited to their rooms. Please bring extra clothes to help you and your child be more comfortable.
  • Items that may induce your child’s seizures or events
  • Small backpack (for younger patients to carry their EEG pack)
  • Favorite toys, movies, books, etc.
  • Activities that might be fun and new
  • Comforting blanket, pillow, stuffed animal
  • Button-up shirt or pajamas
  • Photos of family members and pets
  • Glasses, hearing aids, crutches, braces
  • Slippers or socks
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Schoolwork, if appropriate
  • Personal items (hairbrush, chapstick, etc.)
    • Name of your child’s primary care doctor
    • Insurance card
    • Photo ID
    • A list of medications that your child is taking
    • Personal items (hairbrush, chapstick, etc.)
    • Slippers or socks
    • Comfortable clothes for overnight caregivers
    • Magazines, books, etc.

    Requesting Your Child's EEG Recording

    Yes, you may contact the Pediatric EEG Department and request a copy of your child’s EEG. All EEG recordings are downloaded onto a DVD with a special program that allows the EEG to be opened and reviewed. EEG files are very large files. It will take up to three to seven business days to process your request. There is a fee of $10 per DVD.
    • Routine EEG recordings: A maximum of five routine EEGs may be downloaded onto a single DVD
    • 24-hour long-term monitoring VEEG recordings: Approximate cost is $10 per day — i.e. If your child was recorded for three days, the maximum cost would be $30. We will work to ensure the lowest cost to you.

    Please note: Your child's EEG report must be requested through our Medical Records Office.

    • You may ask your EEG technician to give you a form, sign it and return it to your EEG technician.
    • You may visit the Medical Records Office and sign the Medical Release of Information. A copy must be faxed to the Pediatric EEG Department at 773-834-0830.
    • You may call the Pediatric EEG Department at 773-834-3665 and have the form faxed to you. Please fax the signed form to 773-834-0830.
    • Your child’s name and date of birth
    • A signed copy of the Medical Release of Information form
    • The date(s) of service for your child’s EEG, if you know them
    • Your name, phone number and relationship to the child
    • All fees paid in full

    Accepted Payment Methods

    You may pay with cash, check or money order. We can not accept credit card payments at this time.
     
    Make all checks and money orders must be made payable to: University of Chicago Medicine.
     
    On the memo line write: EEG on DVD.
     

    Pay In Person

    You may pay in person at Comer Children’s at 5721 S. Maryland Ave., Room K-553. Please call the EEG Department at 773-834-3665 to let us know you are coming.

     

    Mail Your Payment

    You may mail your payment to:
     
    University of Chicago Medicine
    5721 S. Maryland Ave., Room K-115
    Chicago, IL 60637
    Attention: Diep Truong

    Pick-Up

    If you choose, you may pick up your child’s EEG at Comer Children’s at 5721 S. Maryland Ave. You will need to call the EEG Department at 773-834-3665 when you are ready to pick up your child’s EEG. Bring your ID.
     

    Mail Delivery to You

    If you choose, we can mail your child’s EEG directly to you via USPS at standard rates. Please provide us with your correct name, address, city, state and zip code.
     
    University of Chicago Medicine
    Pediatric EEG Department
    Office: 773-834-3665
    Fax: 773-834-0830
     

    Mail Delivery to Your Child's Physician

    If you choose, we can mail your child’s EEG to the consulting physician via USPS at standard rates. Please provide us with the correct name, address, city, state and zip code.
    If you have further questions, please contact the UChicago Medicine Pediatric EEG Department at 773-834-3665.
     
    Hours:
     
    Monday to Friday
    8 a.m. to 4 p.m.