Ifosfamide related encephalopathy: The need for a timely EEG evaluation

Anteneh M. Feyissa, Sudhakar Tummala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background Ifosfamide is an alkylating agent useful in the treatment of a wide range of cancers including sarcomas, lymphoma, gynecologic and testicular cancers. Encephalopathy has been reported in 10-40% of patients receiving high-dose IV ifosfamide. Objective To highlight the role of electroencephalogram (EEG) in the early detection and management of ifosfamide related encephalopathy. Methods Retrospective chart review including clinical data and EEG recordings was done on five patients, admitted to MD Anderson Cancer Center between years 2009 and 2012, who developed ifosfamide related acute encephalopathy. Results All five patients experienced symptoms of encephalopathy soon after (within 12 h-2 days) receiving ifosfamide. Two patients developed generalized convulsions while one patient developed continuous non-convulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) that required ICU admission and intubation. Initial EEG showed epileptiform discharges in three patients; run of triphasic waves in one patient and moderate degree diffuse generalized slowing. Mixed pattern with the presence of both sharps and triphasic waves were also noted. Repeat EEGs within 24-h of symptom onset showed marked improvement that was correlated with clinical improvement. Conclusions Severity of ifosfamide related encephalopathy correlates with EEG changes. We suggest a timely EEG evaluation for patients receiving ifosfamide who develop features of encephalopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-112
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2014


  • EEG
  • Encephalopathy
  • Ifosfamide
  • NCSE
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Non-convulsive status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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