Utility of EEG measures of brain function in patients with acute stroke

Jennifer Wu, Ramesh Srinivasan, Erin Burke Quinlan, Ana Solodkin, Steven L. Small, Steven C. Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


EEG has been used to study acute stroke for decades; however, because of several limitations EEG-based measures rarely inform clinical decision-making in this setting. Recent advances in EEG hardware, recording electrodes, and EEG software could overcome these limitations. The present study examined how well dense-array (256 electrodes) EEG, acquired with a saline-lead net and analyzed with whole brain partial least squares (PLS) modeling, captured extent of acute stroke behavioral deficits and varied in relation to acute brain injury. In 24 patients admitted for acute ischemic stroke, 3 min of resting-state EEG was acquired at bedside, including in the ER and ICU. Traditional quantitative EEG measures (power in a specific lead, in any frequency band) showed a modest association with behavioral deficits [NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score] in bivariate models. However, PLS models of delta or beta power across whole brain correlated strongly with NIHSS score (R2 = 0.85-0.90) and remained robust when further analyzed with cross-validation models (R2 = 0.72-0.73). Larger infarct volume was associated with higher delta power, bilaterally; the contralesional findings were not attributable to mass effect, indicating that EEG captures significant information about acute stroke effects not available from MRI. We conclude that 1) densearray EEG data are feasible as a bedside measure of brain function in patients with acute stroke; 2) high-dimension EEG data are strongly correlated with acute stroke behavioral deficits and are superior to traditional single-lead metrics in this regard; and 3) EEG captures significant information about acute stroke injury not available from structural brain imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2399-2405
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute stroke
  • Brain function
  • Brain injury
  • Dense-array EEG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology


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