Longitudinal electroencephalographic (EEG) findings in pediatric anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate (anti-NMDA) receptor encephalitis: The padua experience

Margherita Nosadini, Clementina Boniver, Luigi Zuliani, Luca De Palma, Elisa Cainelli, Pier Antonio Battistella, Irene Toldo, Agnese Suppiej, Stefano Sartori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To contribute to characterize electroencephalographic (EEG) activity in pediatric anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate (anti-NMDA) receptor encephalitis, we reviewed electroclinical data of 5 children with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis diagnosed in our department. We identified 4 longitudinal electroencephalographic phases: in the early phase, background activity was normal, with intermixed nonreactive slow waves; in the florid phase, background activity deteriorated with appearance of sequences of peculiar rhythmic theta and/or delta activity unrelated to clinical changes, unresponsive to stimuli and antiepileptic medications; in the recovery phase, these sequences decreased and reactive posterior rhythm re-emerged; electroencephalogram normalized 2 to 5 months after onset. In conclusion, in the presence of evocative clinical history, recognizing a characteristic longitudinal electroencephalographic activity could provide ancillary aspects addressing the diagnosis and the overall management of children with anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis; in particular, knowing that peculiar and recurrent paroxysmal nonepileptic rhythmic theta-delta patterns can occur in these patients could help distinguish paroxysmal epileptic and nonepileptic electroencephalographic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-245
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Anti-NMDAR encephalitis
  • Children
  • EEG
  • Rhythmic pattern
  • Seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Medicine(all)


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