Early Consciousness Disorder in Acute Large Hemispheric Infarction: An Analysis Based on Quantitative EEG and Brain Network Characteristics

Huijin Huang, Zikang Niu, Gang Liu, Mengdi Jiang, Qingxia Jia, Xiaoli Li, Yingying Su
Neurocritical Care 2020 July 23

BACKGROUND: Large hemispheric infarction (LHI) is an ischemic stroke affecting at least two-thirds of the middle cerebral artery territory, with or without involvement of the anterior cerebral artery or posterior cerebral artery, and approximately 77% of LHI patients have early consciousness disorder (ECD). We constructed a functional brain network for LHI patients with an acute consciousness disorder to identify new diagnostic markers related to ECDs by analyzing brain network characteristics and mechanisms.

METHODS: Between August 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018, patients with acute (< 1 month) LHI were admitted to the neurocritical care unit at Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University. Electroencephalography (EEG) data were recorded, and the MATLAB platform (2017b) was used to calculate spectral power, entropy, coherence and phase synchronization. The quantitative EEG and brain network characteristics of different consciousness states and different frequency bands were analyzed (α = 0.05). EEG data were recorded 38 times in 30 patients, 25 of whom were in the ECD group, while 13 patients were in the conscious group.

RESULTS: (1) Spectral power analysis: The conscious group had higher beta relative spectral power across the whole brain, higher alpha spectral power in the frontal-parietal lobe on the infarction contralateral side, and lower theta and delta spectral power in the central-occipital lobe on the infarction contralateral side than the ECD group. (2) Entropy analysis: The conscious group had higher approximate entropy (ApEn) and permutation entropy (PeEn) across the whole brain than the ECD group. (3) Coherence: The conscious group had higher alpha coherence in nearly the whole brain and higher beta coherence in the bilateral frontal-parietal and parietal-occipital lobes than the ECD group. (4) Phase synchronization: The conscious group had higher alpha and beta synchronization in nearly the whole brain, particularly in the frontal-parietal and parietal-occipital lobes, than the ECD group. (5) Graph theory: The conscious group had higher small-worldness in each frequency band than the ECD group.

CONCLUSION: In patients with LHI, higher levels of consciousness were associated with more alpha and beta oscillations and fewer delta and theta oscillations. Higher ApEn, PeEn, total brain connectivity, and small-worldness and a wider signal distribution range corresponded to a higher consciousness level.

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