Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neurology. 2012 Sep 11;79(11):1094-100. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182698cd8. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

Extreme delta brush: a unique EEG pattern in adults with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.

Author information

  • 1PENN Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.



To determine continuous EEG (cEEG) patterns that may be unique to anti-NMDA receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis in a series of adult patients with this disorder.


We evaluated the clinical and EEG data of 23 hospitalized adult patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis who underwent cEEG monitoring between January 2005 and February 2011 at 2 large academic medical centers.


Twenty-three patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis underwent a median of 7 (range 1-123) days of cEEG monitoring. The median length of hospitalization was 44 (range 2-200) days. Personality or behavioral changes (100%), movement disorders (82.6%), and seizures (78.3%) were the most common symptoms. Seven of 23 patients (30.4%) had a unique electrographic pattern, which we named "extreme delta brush" because of its resemblance to waveforms seen in premature infants. The presence of extreme delta brush was associated with a more prolonged hospitalization (mean 128.3 ± 47.5 vs 43.2 ± 39.0 days, p = 0.008) and increased days of cEEG monitoring (mean 27.6 ± 42.3 vs 6.2 ± 5.6 days, p = 0.012). The modified Rankin Scale score showed a trend toward worse scores in patients with the extreme delta brush pattern (mean 4.0 ± 0.8 vs 3.1 ± 1.1, p = 0.089).


Extreme delta brush is a novel EEG finding seen in many patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis. The presence of this pattern is associated with a more prolonged illness. Although the specificity of this pattern is unclear, its presence should raise consideration of this syndrome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk