The electroencephalogram and acute ischemic stroke. Distinguishing cortical from lacunar infarction

Arch Neurol. 1988 May;45(5):520-4. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1988.00520290048013.


One hundred consecutive cases of clinically diagnosed, acute forebrain infarction were studied using computerized tomography (CT) and electroencephalography (EEG). Computed tomography confirmed brain infarction in 91 patients and was normal in the remaining nine. Each EEG was read independently by two experienced electroencephalographers without knowledge of CT or clinical details and their findings were compared with those of CT. Lateralized theta and/or delta activity predicted ipsilateral cortical infarction with a sensitivity of 76% and specificity of 82%. In contrast, cerebral hemisphere lacunae produced similar EEG abnormalities in only a few cases (9%). Electroencephalography is particularly useful following stroke if the initial CT excludes hemorrhage but does not detect infarction. In conjunction with clinical details, the EEG can then be used to indicate the likelihood of cortical involvement and thus suggest the likely pathophysiologic mechanism of infarction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*