Prior work has shown that the intracarotid infusion of sodium dehydrocholate can produce prolonged reversible blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption. Associated with barrier disruption is the occasional presence of behavioral seizure activity. Electroencephalographic changes were monitored in 32 rats after BBB disruption by the left internal carotid artery infusion of sodium dehydrocholate. The electroencephalogram (EEG) was monitored for 3 hours after disruption in 20 animals, and the remaining 12 animals were followed for 24 hours. The EEG was also monitored in 8 additional control animals: 4 had undergone carotid artery infusion with normal saline, and 4 had received sodium dehydrocholate intravenously. The 20 rats monitored for up to 3 hours postinfusion were found to have varying grades of BBB disruption as measured by the presence of Evans blue staining of the brain. EEG alterations in this group included decreased amplitude and slowing as well as the presence of spike activity over the disrupted and the nondisrupted hemispheres. The more extensive the disruption, the more severe the EEG changes. In animals with minimal to moderate disruption, the EEG usually returned to base line levels within 3 hours after infusion. Animals with marked disruption usually had bilaterally flat EEGs before the end of the observation period. The remaining 12 animals were followed for 24 hours postinfusion. Of 9 animals surviving 24 hours, 1 animal had a decrease in amplitude over the disrupted hemisphere; in the remaining 8 animals, the spontaneous EEG was unchanged from predisruption levels except for occasional spikes in 2 animals. Animals infused with intracarotid saline or intravenous sodium dehydrocholate demonstrated no EEG changes or Evans blue staining. BBB disruption subsequent to the intracarotid infusion of sodium dehydrocholate is associated with EEG changes that reflect the extent of disruption. These changes may, in part, be due to the penetration of dehydrocholate through the permeable BBB and its subsequent physiological effects on neural structures.