EEG spike activity precedes epilepsy after kainate-induced status epilepticus

Epilepsia. 2010 Mar;51(3):371-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02339.x. Epub 2009 Oct 20.


Purpose: Chronic epilepsy frequently develops after brain injury, but prediction of which individual patient will develop spontaneous recurrent seizures (i.e., epilepsy) is not currently possible. Here, we use continuous radiotelemetric electroencephalography (EEG) and video monitoring along with automated computer detection of EEG spikes and seizures to test the hypothesis that EEG spikes precede and are correlated with subsequent spontaneous recurrent seizures.

Methods: The presence and pattern of EEG spikes was studied during long recording epochs between the end of status epilepticus (SE) induced by three different doses of kainate and the onset of chronic epilepsy.

Results: The presence of spikes, and later spike clusters, over several days after SE before the first spontaneous seizure, was consistently associated with the development of chronic epilepsy. The rate of development of epilepsy (i.e., increase in seizure frequency) was strongly correlated with the frequency of EEG spikes and the cumulative number of EEG spikes after SE.

Conclusions: The temporal features of EEG spikes (i.e., their presence, frequency, and pattern [clusters]) when analyzed over prolonged periods, may be a predictive biomarker for the development of chronic epilepsy after brain injury. Future clinical trials using prolonged EEG recordings may reveal the diagnostic utility of EEG spikes as predictors of subsequent epilepsy in brain-injured humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Electroencephalography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Kainic Acid
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recurrence
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Status Epilepticus / chemically induced
  • Status Epilepticus / diagnosis
  • Status Epilepticus / physiopathology*
  • Telemetry
  • Time Factors
  • Video Recording


  • Biomarkers
  • Kainic Acid