Transient shivering during Wada test provides insight into human thermoregulation

Aashit K. Shah, Marie D. Atkinson, Preeti Gupta, Imad Zak, Craig Watson, Robert Rothermel, Eishi Asano, Darren Fuerst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Some patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy undergoing the Wada test experience transient shivering. The purpose of this study was to investigate various clinical and radiographic characteristics of these individuals to delineate underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon. Methods: A systematic review of prospectively collected information on patients undergoing the Wada test was performed. All demographic, clinical, and radiographic information was obtained and reviewed by the appropriate expert in the field; statistical analysis was performed to determine the predictors of transient shivering. Results: A total of 120 consecutive carotid artery injections in 59 patients were included in the study. Shivering was observed in 46% of the patients, and it was not significantly affected by gender, age, location of epileptogenic zone, brain lesion on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), side of the first injection, duration of the hemiparesis, or excess slow wave activity on electroencephalography (EEG). However, shivering was more likely to follow sodium amobarbital injection if there was no filling of the posterior circulation on cerebral angiogram. Discussion: Transient shivering during the Wada test is common. A transient but selective functional lesion of the anterior hypothalamus produced by the effects of sodium amobarbital may result in disinhibition of the posterior hypothalamus and other brainstem thermoregulatory centers, thereby inducing transient shivering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-751
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Epilepsy
  • Intracarotid amobarbital procedure
  • Shivering
  • Thermoregulation
  • Wada test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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