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Encephalopathic EEG Patterns

Overview

Since the EEG is a test of cerebral function, diffuse (generalized) abnormal patterns are by definition indicative of diffuse brain dysfunction (ie, diffuse encephalopathy).

This article discusses the following EEG encephalopathic findings:

Generalized slowing: This is the most common finding in diffuse encephalopathies. Focal (localized) slow activity reflects focal dysfunction, not diffuse dysfunction (ie, encephalopathy).

More severe patterns: These patterns are generally considered the next level of severity beyond generalized slowing. They include periodic patterns (such as burst-suppression), background suppression, and electrocerebral inactivity (ECI).

Less common patterns: These include alpha coma, beta coma, spindle coma, and triphasic waves.

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