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PURPOSE: Anti-N-methyl- d -aspartate receptor (anti-NMDAR) encephalitis is a form of autoimmune encephalitis associated with EEG abnormalities. In view of the potentially severe outcomes, there is a need to develop prognostic tools to inform clinical management. The authors explored whether quantitative EEG was able to predict outcomes in patients with suspected anti-NMDAR encephalitis. METHODS: A retrospective, observational study was conducted of patients admitted to a tertiary clinical neuroscience center with suspected anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Peak power and peak frequency within delta (<4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (8 - 13 Hz), and beta (13-30 Hz) frequency bands were calculated for the first clinical EEG recording. Outcome was based on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at 1 year after hospital discharge. Binomial logistic regression using backward elimination was performed with peak frequency and power, anti-NMDAR Encephalitis One-Year Functional Status score, age, and interval from symptom onset to EEG entered as predictors. RESULTS: Twenty patients were included (mean age 48.6 years, 70% female), of which 7 (35%) had a poor clinical outcome (mRS 2-6) at 1 year. There was no association between reported EEG abnormalities and outcome. The final logistic regression model was significant (χ 2 (1) = 6.35, P < 0.012) with peak frequency in the delta range (<4 Hz) the only retained predictor. The model explained 38% of the variance (Nagelkerke R2 ) and correctly classified 85% of cases. Higher peak frequency in the delta range was significantly associated ( P = 0.04) with an increased likelihood of poor outcome. CONCLUSIONS: In this exploratory study, it was found that quantitative EEG on routinely collected EEG recordings in patients with suspected anti-NMDAR encephalitis was feasible. A higher peak frequency within the delta range was associated with poorer clinical outcome and may indicate anti-NMDAR-mediated synaptic dysfunction. Quantitative EEG may have clinical utility in predicting outcomes in patients with suspected NMDAR antibody encephalitis, thereby serving as a useful adjunct to qualitative EEG assessment; however, given the small sample size, replication in a larger scale is indicated.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Neurophysiol

Publication Date





160 - 164


Humans, Female, Middle Aged, Male, Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis, Prognosis, Electroencephalography, Retrospective Studies, Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate