Non-epileptiform EEG abnormalities: an overview

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2011 Oct;69(5):829-35. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x2011000600020.


More than 80 years after its introduction by Hans Berger, the electroencephalogram (EEG) remains as an important supplementary examination in the investigation of neurological disorders and gives valuable and accurate information about cerebral function. Abnormal EEG findings may include ictal patterns, interictal epileptiform activity and non-epileptiform abnormalities. The aim of this study is to make an overview on the main non-epileptiform EEG abnormalities, emphasizing the pathologic findings and the importance of their recognition, excluding periodic patterns and EEG physiologic changes. Scientific articles were selected from MEDLINE and PubMed database. The presence of non-epileptiform EEG abnormalities provide evidence of brain dysfunction that are not specific to a particular etiology and may be related to a number of disorders affecting the brain. Although these abnormalities are not specific, they can direct attention to the diagnostic possibilities and guide the best treatment choice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Coma / physiopathology
  • Delta Rhythm / physiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans