The neuroimaging correlates of lateralized rhythmic delta activity (LRDA) are not well defined, and imaging findings between different epileptiform patterns have seldom been compared directly.
Patients were retrospectively selected from a critical care EEG database between December 2014 and December 2017. Patients were included if they had greater than 6 hours of continuous EEG that contained LRDA, lateralized periodic discharges LPDs), or generalized rhythmic delta activity (GRDA) and had an MRI within 48 hours of the EEG. Clinical, EEG, and MRI characteristics were collected and compared.
All the following results showed statistical significance between the groups: Patients with GRDA were more likely to have a normal MRI (LRDA, 0%; LPDs, 0.8%; GRDA, 17.3%), although the majority were abnormal. In patients with LRDA and LPDs, the MRI abnormalities were much more likely lateralized to one side, whereas in those with GRDA, they were more likely to have bilateral or multifocal abnormalities. Across all groups most abnormalities were acute, although this proportion was higher in patients with LRDA and LPDs compared with that in those with GRDA (LRDA, 91.3%; LPDs, 86.0%; GRDA, 70.4%). An MRI abnormality that was concordant with the side of LRDA was present in 66.3%, with 17.3% having discordant findings. These were similar in patients with LPDs (concordant 67.4%; discordant 11.6%).
Patients with LRDA had a similarly high rate of acute focal abnormalities ipsilateral to the EEG pattern compared with those with LPDs. Patients with GRDA were more likely to have a normal MRI, but the majority of patients with GRDA still had acute focal findings.