Electroencephalography in cerebral malaria

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 1995 Mar;26(1):34-7.


Electroencephalography (EEG) was performed in 13 male patients with cerebral malaria during the first 24 hours of admission, using a 10-channel, 10-20 system EEG machine (6 montages, 20 minute duration). The EEG patterns were of theta and delta waves from both sides of cerebral hemisphere suggesting diffused cortical dysfunction. No epileptic pattern was found in patients who had seizures prior to, or after admission. The initial EEG performed on the day of admission did not show any specific pattern attributable to any pathological condition. It was also unable to predict the prognosis of the 2 dead patients. However, one cerebral malaria patient with left hemiplegia was subsequently found to have right basal ganglia hemorrhage in CAT scan, high amplitude delta waves and theta waves in the tracings of the right hemisphere. The study suggests that a single EEG data on admission can hardly give enough information for prediction of the clinical course and outcome of cerebral malaria. Serial EEGs probably provide more useful information regarding the prognostic signs in this group of patients. Nevertheless, EEG could be useful to rule out some cerebral pathology such as space occupying lesions, epilepsy or any other causes of unconsciousness that could produce similar cerebral symptoms in malaria patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coma / etiology
  • Coma / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Hemiplegia / etiology
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Cerebral / complications
  • Malaria, Cerebral / diagnosis
  • Malaria, Cerebral / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Thailand
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed