Electroencephalographic findings in COVID-19 patients: A systematic review

Link to article at PubMed

Seizure. 2020 Sep 15;82:17-22. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2020.09.007. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Growing evidence of neurologic involvement seen in COVID-19 infection necessitates the pooling of neurodiagnostic findings like electroencephalography (EEG) that may guide clinical management. The objective of this study was to review the EEG findings in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection through a systematic review of published articles.

METHODS: We systematically searched until July 25, 2020 for published articles that reported on descriptive EEG findings in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in PUBMED by Medline, EMBASE, and CENTRAL by the Cochrane Library.

RESULTS: From a total of 94 identified records, 29 relevant articles were included in this review. A total of 177 patients with COVID-19 with descriptive EEG reports were analyzed. The most common indication for EEG was unexplained altered mental status. Disturbances of background activity such as generalized and focal slowing were seen as well epileptiform abnormalities and rhythmic or periodic discharges. There were no consistent EEG findings specific to COVID-19 infection.

CONCLUSION: The EEG findings in COVID-19 appear to be non-specific. Further research on the relationship of the EEG findings to the clinical state and short- or long-term prognosis of COVID-19 patients may be conducted to help clinicians discern which patients would necessitate an EEG procedure and would eventually require treatment.

PMID:32957032 | DOI:10.1016/j.seizure.2020.09.007

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