Electroencephalography Findings in Traumatic Brain Injury

Alfansuri Kadri1, Novi Apriani2, *
1 Departement of Neurology Staff, Faculty of Medicine, University of North Sumatera, Medan, Indonesia
2 Resident Departement of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of North Sumatera. Medan, Indonesia.

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© 2022 Kadri and Apriani.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 2Resident Departement of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of North Sumatera, Medan, Indonesia; Tel: 082171812701; E-mail:


Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or also known as a head injury is one of the leading causes of death among young people and is also one of the health problems defined as impact, penetration, and rapid movement of the brain within the skull that can result in changes in mental status and is often referred to as the silent epidemic.

Head injuries can also result in electrophysiological abnormalities seen on electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. Electroencephalography was the first clinical neurodiagnostic assessment to reveal abnormal brain function after a head injury. For detecting brain injury, EEG may be more sensitive than clinical neurologic examination.

In general conditions, electroencephalography is performed on patients with moderate to severe head injuries to provide information about the severity of the head injury, and establish a diagnosis of non-convulsive status epilepticus. This diagnosis often follows head injuries because patients with loss of consciousness are difficult to identify without an EEG examination. This also helps determine a prognosis for recovery and the likelihood of post-traumatic seizures.

Electroencephalography features in head injuries depend on the severity of the injury and the location of the head itself. Electroencephalography after head injury shows slowing of the posterior dominant rhythm and increasing diffuse theta slowing, which returns to normal within hours or may subside more slowly over several weeks. Electroencephalography changes are not the same in each individual, due to differences in the severity of head injuries. It is important to know that there is no clear or specific EEG for mild traumatic brain injury.

Keywords: Electroencephalography, Traumatic brain injury, Epileptiform activity, PTA, AOC, LOC.