Case series/case reports (Indigo)
The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of EEG abnormalities in patients with COVID-19 with neurologic changes, their associated neuroimaging abnormalities and rates of mortality. This study represents a retrospective case series of 192 adult COVID-19 positive inpatients with EEG performed between March and June 2020 at 4 hospitals: 161 undergoing continuous, 24 routine, and 7 reduced- montage EEG. Study indication, epilepsy history, intubation status, administration of sedatives or antiseizure medications, metabolic abnormalities, neuroimaging pathology associated with epileptiform abnormalities, and in-hospital mortality were analyzed.
EEG indications included encephalopathy (54.7%), seizure (18.2%), coma (17.2%), focal deficit (5.2%), and abnormal movements (4.6%). Epileptiform abnormalities occurred in 39.6% of patients: focal intermittent epileptiform discharges in 25.0%, lateralized periodic discharges in 6.3%, and generalized periodic discharges in 19.3%. Seizures were recorded in 8 patients, 3 with status epilepticus. Antiseizure medication administration, epilepsy history, and older age were associated with epileptiform abnormalities. Only 26.3% of patients with any epileptiform abnormality, 37.5% with electrographic seizures, and 25.7% patients with clinical seizures had known epilepsy. Background findings included generalized slowing (88.5%), focal slowing (15.6%), burst suppression (3.6%), attenuation (3.1%), and normal EEG (3.1%). Neuroimaging pathology was identified in 67.1% of patients with epileptiform abnormalities, over two-thirds acute. In-hospital mortality was 39.5% for patients with epileptiform abnormalities, 36.2% for those without. Risk factors for mortality were coma and ventilator support at time of EEG. The authors concluded that this article highlights the range of EEG abnormalities frequently associated with acute neuroimaging abnormalities in COVID-19. Mortality rates were high, particularly for patients in coma requiring mechanical ventilation. These findings may guide the prognosis and management of patients with COVID-19 and neurologic changes.
Sean T. Hwang, Ahmad A. Ballout, Anup N. Sonti, Amitha Kapyur, Claudia Kirsch, Neeraj Singh, Noah Markowitz, Tung Ming Leung, Derek J. Chong, Richard Temes, Steven V. Pacia, Ruben I. Kuzniecky, Souhel Najjar. EEG Abnormalities and Their Radiographic Correlates in a COVID-19 Inpatient Cohort. Neurol Clin Pract Oct 2021, 10.1212/CPJ.0000000000001136; DOI: 10.1212/CPJ.0000000000001136.