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Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

EMU evaluation plays a crucial role in the patient’s diagnosis and management with seizures and epilepsy. It is a specialized inpatient unit designed to evaluate, diagnose, and treat seizures, using state of art continuous video-EEG monitoring technology. Patients may come to the UNC EMU for diagnosis of typical spell or seizure, localization of seizure, or anti-epileptic medication adjustment.

The EMU care team consists of six ABPN Epilepsy/Clinical Neurophysiology Board or ABCN Board certified epileptologists, an epilepsy nurse practitioner, neurology- and epilepsy-trained nurses, CLTM Board certified or eligible EEG technologists, epilepsy fellows, neurology residents and attending neurologists.

Annually, we perform more than 1,200 long-term video-EEG monitoring, known as LTM or vEEG, including over 500 epilepsy monitoring unit admissions, 2,000 routine and ambulatory EEGs, 10-15 Phase II intracranial monitoring cases for epilepsy surgery and 15-20 epilepsy surgeries. Out of 500 EMU admissions, over 100 phase I epilepsy pre-surgical evaluations are performed with or without usage of ictal SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography).

The UNC EMU first opened in 1984 with four dedicated private adult beds and two dedicated pediatric beds. In 1988, UNC EMU joined NAEC as a member and performed first Ictal Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT). In the 1990s, the UNC Epilepsy Center started offering an epilepsy surgery treatment in addition to traditional medical therapy. In April 1, 2012, UNC EMU re-opened with the current location in 6 NSH and 6CH after renovation of the floor plan, renovation of rooms, extensive staff training and establishment of extensive patient safety protocols. With the expansion of EMU in 2015, the facility consists of total 11 private beds for adults (seven beds in six Neuroscience Hospital) and pediatric (four beds in six Children’s Hospital) patients.

Since 1984, all personnel in the EMU and medical directors are dedicated to provide the highest quality of care to patients with seizure, epilepsy and/or unknown spells. The UNC Epilepsy Center and EMU have actively participated into the next generation physician education and various research studies to provide better diagnostic and treatment options to patients with epilepsy from clinical drug trials to basic science.

UNC Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)