What is the morphology of spikes and sharp EEG waves?

Updated: Oct 09, 2019
  • Author: Roy Sucholeiki, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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See the list below:

  • These are recognized by their height, their sharp top, and their narrow base.

  • Spikes and sharp waves usually are abnormal.

  • They can be normal in the following settings:

    • V waves of sleep in the parasagittal regions in stage 2 sleep can be normal.

    • Small, sharp spikes of sleep or benign epileptiform transients of sleep (BETS) are nonpathologic. They occur in the temporal regions, often switching from side to side. They do not have slow-following waves as do most of the pathologic spikes of epilepsy.

    • Numerous artifacts resemble spikes, but they are distinguished by other waves that may be present, by observation of the patient while they are occurring, and by experience.

    • POSTS can have a sharp contour yet be quite normal. They occur in the occipital regions bilaterally during sleep.

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