Early Electroencephalographic Background Features Predict Outcomes in Children Resuscitated From Cardiac Arrest*

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Abstract

Objectives:

To determine 1) whether early electroencephalographic background features were associated with survival and neurologic outcomes among children resuscitated from cardiac arrest and not treated with therapeutic hypothermia and 2) if addition of electroencephalographic background to commonly used clinical criteria is more predictive of outcome than clinical criteria alone.

Design:

Retrospective study.

Setting:

PICU and Cardiac ICUs of a tertiary children’s hospital.

Patients:

Patients resuscitated from in-hospital or out-of-hospital cardiac arrest who underwent clinically indicated electroencephalographic monitoring and were not treated with therapeutic hypothermia.

Interventions:

None.

Measurements and Main Results:

One-hundred twenty-eight patients underwent electroencephalographic monitoring within 1 day of return of spontaneous circulation. Background category was normal in four subjects (3%), slow-disorganized in 58 subjects (45%), discontinuous-burst suppression in 24 subjects (19%) and attenuated-flat in 42 subjects (33%). Forty-six subjects (36%) had a reactive electroencephalography. Twenty subjects (15%) had a seizure during electroencephalographic monitoring. Absence of reactivity (p < 0.001) and seizures (p = 0.04) were associated with worse electroencephalographic background category. After controlling for covariates, for each incrementally worse background score, the odds of death was 3.63 (95% CI, 2.18–6.0; p < 0.001) and the odds of unfavorable neurologic outcome was 4.38 (95% CI, 2.51–7.17; p = 0.001).

Conclusions:

Worse electroencephalographic background early after resuscitation from both in-hospital and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is associated with increased odds of death and unfavorable neurologic outcomes at hospital discharge. These electroencephalographic background patterns may be used in addition to clinical criteria to support prognostic decision making.

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