Continuous EEG in therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest: Prognostic and clinical value

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Objectives:To determine the prognostic value of an EEG grading scale and clinical outcome of treated seizures detected with continuous EEG (cEEG) during therapeutic hypothermia (TH) and rewarming post cardiac arrest (CA).Methods:Our cohort study retrospectively reviewed the electronic medical records and cEEGs of all patients undergoing TH after CA under protocol over 2 years. cEEG was initiated during TH and continued until restoration of normothermia (NT). EEGs were graded 1–3 (3 = most severe) using a departmentally developed EEG severity grading scale by 2 authors blinded to clinical outcome. Outcome was measured using the Cerebral Performance Category scale; grades 1–2 were considered a “good” outcome, 3–5 “poor.”Results:Fifty-four patients were included; 51 remained on cEEG through NT. Nineteen died. EEG severity grading during both TH and NT statistically correlated with outcome (grade 1 = good, grade 3 = poor). Other EEG features correlating with poor outcome included seizures, nonreactive background, and epileptiform discharges. Changes in EEG grade during monitoring did not statistically correlate with outcome. Five patients had seizures; all occurred in patients with grade 3 EEG backgrounds and all had a poor outcome.Conclusion:Grades 1 and 3 on our EEG severity grading scale during TH and NT correlated with outcome. Treating seizures did not improve outcome in our cohort.

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