Accuracy and reliability of periodic sharp wave complexes in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Arch Neurol. 1996 Feb;53(2):162-6. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1996.00550020074017.


Objective: To assess the sensitivity, specificity, and interobserver reliability of periodic sharp wave complexes in the electroencephalograms of patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Design: Sixty-eight electroencephalograms in 29 patients who had been suspected of having Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were reanalyzed by an investigator who was unaware of the clinical data. The incidence of periodic sharp wave complexes in neuropathologically confirmed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease vs progressive dementia other than Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was assessed. Blinded electroencephalogram analysis was performed by a second investigator. The interobserver reliability was assessed by the kappa value.

Setting: University hospital, base of the German National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Study.

Patients: Fifteen patients with neuropathologically confirmed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and 14 patients who had been suspected of having Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease because of rapidly progressive dementia but in whom other dementias were diagnosed by unblinded investigators based on clinical and electroencephalographic criteria.

Main outcome measure: Sensitivity and specificity of periodic sharp wave complexes assessed by their incidence in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease vs other dementias. Interobserver reliability of periodic sharp wave complexes was expressed by the kappa value.

Results: For periodic sharp wave complexes, blinded electroencephalographic analysis resulted in a sensitivity and a specificity of 67% and 86%, respectively. Interobserver reliability was excellent (kappa = 0.95).

Conclusion: This blinded electroencephalographic study in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease confirms the high diagnostic value of electroencephalography, as previously reported by open studies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Periodicity
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity