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Electroencephalogram (ambulatory)

Your child is scheduled for an ambulatory electroencephalogram at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Date: _________________________________

Time: _________________________________

Check-in time: _________________________________


___ Children's - Minneapolis
Special Diagnostics
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota

___ Children's - St. Paul
3rd Floor Garden View Building
347 North Smith Ave
St. Paul, Minnesota
Scheduling: 651-220-6705
Staff questions: 651-220-6534

Please remember to bring your current insurance card(s) with you. If you have questions about your insurance coverage for these services, or any special referral requirements, please contact your insurance company directly. They are best able to advise you about the specifics of your plan.

What is an ambulatory electroencephalogram?

An ambulatory electroencephalogram (EEG) is a painless, safe test that records the electrical activity of the brain for an extended period of time. An EEG will not give shocks or measure intelligence.

How should I prepare my child?

All medicines should be taken as usual unless otherwise directed by the doctor. Hair should be clean, dry, and free of any gels, sprays, or oils. Your child should wear a shirt that opens in the front.

Read and discuss this information with your child. Explain how the test is done, especially what your child will see, hear, and feel. Tell your child it does not hurt. Answer as many questions as you can.

How is the test done?

A technologist will first prepare your child's head for the electrodes. The technologist will then attach electrodes (small disks) to each area with special glue and dry them with an air dryer.

Each electrode is filled with gel and has a wire that is plugged into a connector. The wires and connector are taped in a bundle at the back of the head.

A recorder is attached to the electrodes to record the electrical activity of the brain. Your child will carry the recorder in a carrying case or backpack.

What will I need to do during the recording?

You will be asked to keep a written record of your child's activities. So the recording will be accurate, some activities will not be allowed, such as wearing a hat.

You will be given a diary and extra gel to take home. The technologist will tell you when to use the extra gel.

What can I expect after the test?

Your child will have an appointment at Children's the next day. The technologist will remove the electrodes with acetone and rub with cotton to remove the glue. While the electrodes are being removed, your child may feel some pulling on the hair. If any glue remains, it is not harmful and will come off over time.

A pediatric neurologist (doctor who specializes in the brain) will review the recording and send a report to your child's doctor. Your doctor will call you with the results within 2 or 3 weeks. If you have not heard the results after 3 weeks, call your doctor's office.

Special instructions









This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. For questions about why your child is being tested, please ask your child's doctor. If you have questions about the test or how to prepare your child, please call the number at the beginning of this sheet.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit

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