Performance of Spectrogram-Based Seizure Identification of Adult EEGs by Critical Care Nurses and Neurophysiologists
Continuous EEG screening using spectrograms or compressed spectral arrays (CSAs) by neurophysiologists has shorter review times with minimal loss of sensitivity for seizure detection when compared with visual analysis of raw EEG. Limited data are available on the performance characteristics of CSA-based seizure detection by neurocritical care nurses.Methods:
This is a prospective cross-sectional study that was conducted in two academic neurocritical care units and involved 33 neurointensive care unit nurses and four neurophysiologists.Results:
All nurses underwent a brief training session before testing. Forty two-hour CSA segments of continuous EEG were reviewed and rated for the presence of seizures. Two experienced clinical neurophysiologists masked to the CSA data performed conventional visual analysis of the raw EEG and served as the gold standard. The overall accuracy was 55.7% among nurses and 67.5% among neurophysiologists. Nurse seizure detection sensitivity was 73.8%, and the false-positive rate was 1-per-3.2 hours. Sensitivity and false-alarm rate for the neurophysiologists was 66.3% and 1-per-6.4 hours, respectively. Interrater agreement for seizure screening was fair for nurses (Gwet AC1 statistic: 43.4%) and neurophysiologists (AC1: 46.3%).Conclusions:
Training nurses to perform seizure screening utilizing continuous EEG CSA displays is feasible and associated with moderate sensitivity. Nurses and neurophysiologists had comparable sensitivities, but nurses had a higher false-positive rate. Further work is needed to improve sensitivity and reduce false-alarm rates.