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Electroencephalographic features associated with intermittent rhythmic delta activity.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinical importance of intermittent rhythmic delta activity (IRDA) in terms of accompanying electrophysiological findings on EEG and their association with IRDA.

METHODS: We retrospectively assessed all EEG studies recorded in our institution from 2011 to 2017. Patients with intermittent rhythmic delta activity (IRDA) in EEGs were included. Clinical data were collected from charts of the patients with IRDA.

RESULTS: We identified 69 EEGs with IRDA in 58 patients from a total of 18,625 EEG recordings. The most common IRDA type was frontal IRDA (FIRDA; 55%), followed by temporal IRDA (TIRDA; 28.9%). Unilateral (UL) distribution was present in 36.8% of FIRDAs and 95% of TIRDAs. The frequency of focal epileptiform discharges (FED) was 78.5% in UL FIRDA group and 89.4% in UL TIRDA group. Among the EEGs with FEDs, in UL FIRDA group 90.9% and in UL TIRDA group 70.5% of the FEDs were ipsilateral. Concordance of focal structural brain lesions and FEDs with UL TIRDA was 30.7%, and with UL FIRDA was 50%. UL FIRDA had a 71.4% positive predictive value for ipsilateral focal epileptic focus and UL TIRDA had 63.1%. The frequency of focal structural lesions and FEDs were significantly higher in the UL FIRDA group than bilateral FIRDA group (P=0.03; P=0.01). Among the patients with focal structural lesions, ipsilateral FED association is significantly higher in the UL FIRDA group than BL FIRDA group (P=0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: UL FIRDA is more likely to indicate a focal lesion and a focal epileptic focus compared to bilateral FIRDA, and it had similar characteristics to UL TIRDA. It can be considered that UL FIRDA has as good a lateralizing value for ipsilateral focal epileptic focus and focal lesion as UL TIRDA.

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