EEG as an Indicator of Cerebral Functioning in Postanoxic Coma

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Postanoxic coma after cardiac arrest is one of the most serious acute cerebral conditions and a frequent cause of admission to critical care units. Given substantial improvement of outcome over the recent years, a reliable and timely assessment of clinical evolution and prognosis is essential in this context, but may be challenging. In addition to the classic neurologic examination, EEG is increasingly emerging as an important tool to assess cerebral functions noninvasively. Although targeted temperature management and related sedation may delay clinical assessment, EEG provides accurate prognostic information in the early phase of coma. Here, the most frequently encountered EEG patterns in postanoxic coma are summarized and their relations with outcome prediction are discussed. This article also addresses the influence of targeted temperature management on brain signals and the implication of the evolution of EEG patterns over time. Finally, the article ends with a view of the future prospects for EEG in postanoxic management and prognostication.

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