Electroencephalographic abnormalities in COVID-19-related encephalopathies: A systematic review

  • Jie Pan
  • Shazma Khan
  • Smathorn Thakolwiboon
  • Dargelis Chi


Background: Acute encephalopathy is a common neurological manifestation in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and presents with confusion, delirium, or poor responsiveness. Non-convulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) is an important differential diagnosis in this situation. The electroencephalography (EEG) patterns in COVID-19 patients remain largely unknown.

Method: A literature search was conducted on MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane database. Eligibility criteria included case series and case reports of COVID-19 patients with neurological complication who underwent EEG. Two authors screened all resulting studies and extracted the data independently.

Results: Four retrospective case control studies and eleven case reports were identified. Background diffuse slow activity were seen in most of the COVID-19 patients. Other EEG patterns reported included status epilepticus, focal slow activity, rhythmic periodic discharges, and interictal epileptiform discharges. Imaging and CSF studies were available in only a few patients.

Conclusions: Acute encephalopathy is common in the context of COVID-19. There is no specific EEG pattern found in these patients.

Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, SAR-CoV-2, electroencephalogram, EEG


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How to Cite
Pan, J., Khan, S., Thakolwiboon, S., & Chi, D. (2020). Electroencephalographic abnormalities in COVID-19-related encephalopathies: A systematic review . The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles, 8(35), 36-41. https://doi.org/10.12746/swrccc.v8i35.741