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Posterior slow
waves of youth
By: Mohibullah Fazli Kakar
Posterior slow waves of youth
(youth waves or poly phasic waves)
• Physiologically high-voltage theta or delta waves accompanied
by the AR and creating spike wave-like phenomenon
• Most commonly seen in children aged 8–14 years and are
uncommon in children under 2 years.
• A 15% incidence in healthy individuals aged 16–20 years but
rare in adults above 21 years of age.
• Typically seen both unilaterally and bilaterally in a single
recording.
• They are always accompanied by the AR, attenuated with eye
opening, disappear with the AR during drowsiness and light
sleep, and may be accentuated by hyperventilation and stress.
Posterior slow waves of youth
(youth waves or polyphasic waves)
• Characteristic findings:
• Monorhythmic occipital rhythm attenuates with eye opening
• Normal slower waveforms rarely >1.5 times the amplitude of
AR.
• Normal slower waveforms attenuate with AR during alerting.
• Slower waveforms has the same asymmetry in the ongoing
AR Index of abnormality of theta/delta slowing.
• Complexity and variability of waveforms
• Incidence (how often slow waves occur)
• Voltage ratio (normal slow waves rarely >1.5 times the
amplitude of AR)
• Persistence with eye opening
• Symmetry (consistently predominant on one side).
 EEG of a 9-year old boy with recurrent headaches and
numbness shows bilateral occipital slow waves (Box)
intermixed with and briefly interrupting the alpha rhythm.
Posterior Slow Waves of
Youth

Posterior Slow Waves of
Youth
 EEG of a 10-year-old boy with syncope showing occipital slow
theta and delta waves (arrows) mixed with and briefly
interrupting the alpha rhythm in both occipital regions but
maximally expressed in the left.
Posterior Slow Waves of Youth
Attenuated with Eye Opening

Posterior Slow Waves of Youth Attenuated with Eye
Opening

Posterior Slow Waves of Youth Attenuated with Eye
Opening
 An 8-year-old boy with autism and few generalized tonic-
clonic seizures.
 The 24-hour ambulatory EEG performed to rule out ESES
persistently shows decreased alpha reactivity to eye closure
(open arrow) and intermittent polymorphic delta slowing
(arrow head) in the right occipital region without shifting
lateralization.
 This EEG can simulate “posterior slow waves of youth,”
which is a physiologic finding.
 However, persistent lateralization raises a concern of
abnormality in the right posterior quadrant
Intermittent Right Occipital Delta
Slowing; Simulating Posterior Slow
Wave of Youth.

Intermittent Right Occipital Delta
Slowing; Simulating Posterior Slow
Wave of Youth.

Reference: Atlas of pediatric EEG

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Posterior slow waves of youth

  • 1. Posterior slow waves of youth By: Mohibullah Fazli Kakar
  • 2. Posterior slow waves of youth (youth waves or poly phasic waves) • Physiologically high-voltage theta or delta waves accompanied by the AR and creating spike wave-like phenomenon • Most commonly seen in children aged 8–14 years and are uncommon in children under 2 years. • A 15% incidence in healthy individuals aged 16–20 years but rare in adults above 21 years of age. • Typically seen both unilaterally and bilaterally in a single recording. • They are always accompanied by the AR, attenuated with eye opening, disappear with the AR during drowsiness and light sleep, and may be accentuated by hyperventilation and stress.
  • 3. Posterior slow waves of youth (youth waves or polyphasic waves) • Characteristic findings: • Monorhythmic occipital rhythm attenuates with eye opening • Normal slower waveforms rarely >1.5 times the amplitude of AR. • Normal slower waveforms attenuate with AR during alerting. • Slower waveforms has the same asymmetry in the ongoing AR Index of abnormality of theta/delta slowing. • Complexity and variability of waveforms • Incidence (how often slow waves occur) • Voltage ratio (normal slow waves rarely >1.5 times the amplitude of AR) • Persistence with eye opening • Symmetry (consistently predominant on one side).
  • 4.  EEG of a 9-year old boy with recurrent headaches and numbness shows bilateral occipital slow waves (Box) intermixed with and briefly interrupting the alpha rhythm. Posterior Slow Waves of Youth
  • 6.  EEG of a 10-year-old boy with syncope showing occipital slow theta and delta waves (arrows) mixed with and briefly interrupting the alpha rhythm in both occipital regions but maximally expressed in the left. Posterior Slow Waves of Youth Attenuated with Eye Opening
  • 7.  Posterior Slow Waves of Youth Attenuated with Eye Opening
  • 8.  Posterior Slow Waves of Youth Attenuated with Eye Opening
  • 9.  An 8-year-old boy with autism and few generalized tonic- clonic seizures.  The 24-hour ambulatory EEG performed to rule out ESES persistently shows decreased alpha reactivity to eye closure (open arrow) and intermittent polymorphic delta slowing (arrow head) in the right occipital region without shifting lateralization.  This EEG can simulate “posterior slow waves of youth,” which is a physiologic finding.  However, persistent lateralization raises a concern of abnormality in the right posterior quadrant Intermittent Right Occipital Delta Slowing; Simulating Posterior Slow Wave of Youth.
  • 10.  Intermittent Right Occipital Delta Slowing; Simulating Posterior Slow Wave of Youth.
  • 11.  Reference: Atlas of pediatric EEG