Seizure. 2020 Aug 21;81:198-200. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2020.08.022. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Neurological manifestations of COVID-19 infection include impaired consciousness, strokes, and seizures. Limited reports describing EEG abnormalities in patients with COVID-19 have been published. These articles reported nonspecific encephalopathic patterns, epileptiform discharges, and rarely seizures. Our primary aim was to assess EEG abnormalities in patients with COVID-19 and evaluate for epileptiform activity or seizures.
METHODS: We identified five critically ill adult patients with COVID-19 who underwent EEG monitoring. All patients had Ceribell™ rapid response EEG initially and two continued with conventional long-term video EEG.
RESULTS: All 5 patients had encephalopathy and 3 also had seizure-like movements, thus prompting EEG monitoring. EEGs all showed nonspecific markers of encephalopathy including diffuse slowing and generalized rhythmic delta activity. Two also had epileptiform discharges reaching 2-3 Hz at times, with one patient in nonconvulsive status epilepticus and the other developing clinical status epilepticus with myoclonic movements. EEG and clinical symptoms improved with anti-seizure medications.
CONCLUSION: Status epilepticus was present in 2 out of our cohort of 5 critically ill patients who underwent EEG monitoring. These findings highlight the importance of EEG monitoring in high-risk patients with COVID-19 and encephalopathy. EEG recordings in such patients can identify pathological patterns that will benefit from treatment with anti-seizure medications.