Prognostic Significance of Continuous EEG Monitoring in Patients With Poor-Grade Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

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IntroductionPredicting outcome in patients with poor-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) may help guide therapy and assist in family discussions. The objective of this study was to determine if continuous electroencephalogram (cEEG) monitoring results are predictive of 3-month outcome in critically ill patients with SAH.MethodsWe prospectively studied 756 patients with SAH over a 7-year period. Functional outcome was assessed at 3 months with the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). Patients that underwent cEEG monitoring were retrospectively identified and EEG findings were collected. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify EEG findings associated with poor outcome, defined as mRS 4 to 6 (dead or moderately to severely disabled).ResultsIn 116 patients with SAH, cEEG monitoring and 3-month mRS were available. Of these patients, 88% had a Hunt & Hess grade of 3 or worse on admission. After controlling for age, Hunt & Hess grade, and presence of intraventricular hemorrhage on admission CT scan, poor outcome was associated with the absence of sleep architecture (80 versus 47%; odds ratio [OR] 4.3, 95%-confidence interval [CI] 1.1–17.2) and the presence of periodic lateralized epileptiform discharges (PLEDS) (91 versus 66% OR 18.8, 95%-CI 1.6–214.6). In addition, outcome was poor in all patients with absent EEG reactivity (n = 8), generalized periodic epileptiform discharges (n = 12), or bilateral independent PLEDs (n = 5), and in 92% (11 of 12) of patients with nonconvulsive status epilepticus.ConclusionscEEG monitoring provides independent prognostic information in patients with poor-grade SAH, even after controlling for clinical and radiological findings. Unfavorable findings include periodic epileptiform discharges, electrographic status epilepticus, and the absence of sleep architecture.

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