Epileptiform electroencephalographic abnormalities in liver transplant recipients

Z. K. Wszolek, A. J. Aksamit, R. J. Ellingson, F. W. Sharbrough, B. F. Westmoreland, R. F. Pfeiffer, R. E. Steg, P. C. De Groen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We retrospectively studied patients who had undergone orthotopic liver transplantation and who also had electroencephalography to determine whether epileptiform changes were associated with a poor neurological outcome. Study groups were 36 patients who died after transplantation (141 electroencephalograms) and underwent neuropathological examination, 11 who died (18 electroencephalograms) but did not have autopsy, and a third group of 34 (62 electroencephalograms) who remained alive. Epileptiform activity was seen in electroencephalograms of 14 of the patients who died (11 from the autopsy group) and in 2 of those who remained alive. All had multiple epileptiform abnormalities and clinical or subclinical seizures. The incidence of epileptiform activity after orthotopic liver transplantation was fivefold higher in the nonsurvivors. Serious cerebral structural changes were found in 10 of the 11 patients who underwent autopsy. Epileptiform activity in the electroencephalograms of patients who had undergone orthotopic liver transplantation indicates a poor prognosis. It should alert the clinician to investigate further for potentially treatable causes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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