Utilization of Quantitative EEG Trends for Critical Care Continuous EEG Monitoring: A Survey of Neurophysiologists

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Abstract

Purpose:

Quantitative EEG (QEEG) can be used to assist with review of large amounts of data generated by critical care continuous EEG monitoring. This study aimed to identify current practices regarding the use of QEEG in critical care continuous EEG monitoring of critical care patients.

Methods:

An online survey was sent to 796 members of the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (ACNS), instructing only neurophysiologists to participate.

Results:

The survey was completed by 75 neurophysiologists that use QEEG in their practice. Survey respondents reported that neurophysiologists and neurophysiology fellows are most likely to serve as QEEG readers (97% and 52%, respectively). However, 21% of respondents reported nonneurophysiologists are also involved with QEEG interpretation. The majority of nonneurophysiologist QEEG data review is aimed to alert neurophysiologists to periods of concern, but 22% reported that nonneurophysiologists use QEEG to directly guide clinical care. Quantitative EEG was used most frequently for seizure detection (92%) and burst suppression monitoring (59%). A smaller number of respondents use QEEG for monitoring the depth of sedation (29%), ischemia detection (28%), vasospasm detection (28%) and prognosis after cardiac arrest (21%). About half of the respondents do not review every page of the raw critical care continuous EEG record when using QEEG. Respondents prefer a panel of QEEG trends displayed as hemispheric data, when applicable. There is substantial variability regarding QEEG trend preferences for seizure detection and ischemia detection.

Conclusions:

QEEG is being used by neurophysiologists and nonneurophysiologists for applications beyond seizure detection, but practice patterns vary widely. There is a need for standardization of QEEG methods and practices.

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