Automated electroencephalogram identifies abnormalities in the ED

Am J Emerg Med. 2011 Oct;29(8):845-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2010.03.010. Epub 2010 May 1.


Background: Advances in analysis of electrical signals have now made it possible to create a handheld electroencephalogram (EEG).

Methods: The BrainScope device, currently under development by BrainScope Co, Inc, Washington, DC, was used to assess 153 patients who presented to a tertiary referral hospital with headache or altered mental status. A limited array of 8 adhesive electrodes, similar to electrocardiographic leads, was applied to the forehead of the subjects. The data were analyzed, and the result given by the algorithm was compared with the clinical diagnosis given to the patient.

Results: One hundred fifty-three patients were enrolled. The patient was determined to be normal or abnormal using the algorithm in the device, and blinded clinicians determined whether this was accurate. The sensitivity of the device was 96% and the specificity was 87% for detecting abnormality.

Conclusions: The automated EEG device may be a useful tool for identifying brain abnormality in the emergency department.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / diagnosis
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Emergencies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Headache / diagnosis
  • Headache / etiology
  • Headache / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Point-of-Care Systems*