High epileptiform discharge burden predicts delayed cerebral ischemia after subarachnoid hemorrhage

Jennifer A. Kim, Wei Long Zheng, Jonathan Elmer, Jin Jing, Sahar F. Zafar, Manohar Ghanta, Valdery Moura, Emily J. Gilmore, Lawrence J. Hirsch, Aman Patel, Eric Rosenthal, M. Brandon Westover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate whether epileptiform discharge burden can identify those at risk for delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Methods: Retrospective analysis of 113 moderate to severe grade SAH patients who had continuous EEG (cEEG) recordings during their hospitalization. We calculated the burden of epileptiform discharges (ED), measured as number of ED per hour. Results: We find that many SAH patients have an increase in ED burden during the first 3–10 days following rupture, the major risk period for DCI. However, those who develop DCI have a significantly higher hourly burden from days 3.5–6 after SAH vs. those who do not. ED burden is higher in DCI patients when assessed in relation to the onset of DCI (area under the receiver operator curve 0.72). Finally, specific trends of ED burden over time, assessed by group-based trajectory analysis, also help stratify DCI risk. Conclusions: These results suggest that ED burden is a useful parameter for identifying those at higher risk of developing DCI after SAH. The higher burden rate associated with DCI supports the theory of metabolic supply-demand mismatch which contributes to this complication. Significance: ED burden is a novel biomarker for predicting those at high risk of DCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Burden
  • Delayed cerebral ischemia
  • EEG
  • Epileptiform discharges
  • SAH


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