Electroencephalography and quantitative electroencephalography in mild traumatic brain injury

J Neurotrauma. 2013 Apr 15;30(8):653-6. doi: 10.1089/neu.2012.2585.


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) causes brain injury resulting in electrophysiologic abnormalities visible in electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. Quantitative EEG (qEEG) makes use of quantitative techniques to analyze EEG characteristics such as frequency, amplitude, coherence, power, phase, and symmetry over time independently or in combination. QEEG has been evaluated for its use in making a diagnosis of mTBI and assessing prognosis, including the likelihood of progressing to the postconcussive syndrome (PCS) phase. We review the EEG and qEEG changes of mTBI described in the literature. An attempt is made to separate the findings seen during the acute, subacute, and chronic phases after mTBI. Brief mention is also made of the neurobiological correlates of qEEG using neuroimaging techniques or in histopathology. Although the literature indicates the promise of qEEG in making a diagnosis and indicating prognosis of mTBI, further study is needed to corroborate and refine these methods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Humans