Both electroencephalography and brain scanning are very sensitive diagnostic procedures. The EEG has an overall higher rate of false-positivity (15%) and a lower rate of false-negativity (18%). In contrast, brain scanning has an overall lower incidence of false-positivity (< 2%), but a higher incidence of false-negativity (33%). Combined electroencephalographic and scanning procedures increase overall diagnostic accuracy for detection of intracranial lesions (85%). Brain scanning is more specific than EEG: the cause of the lesion can be predicted correctly in 64% of abnormal scanning, but in only 27% of abnormal EEGs. A lesion not detected by either scan or EEG is most likely to be vascular, small, and deep-seated. Brain scanning and electroencephalography are recommended as screening procedures of choice in routine investigation of patients in whom an intracranial pathologic condition is suspected.
Krishnamurthy GT, Katakia M, Tomiyasu U, Blahd WH. Electroencephalogram and Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m Brain Scan: Diagnostic Accuracy. Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(3):414–417. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320150088010
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.