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J Clin Neurophysiol. 2002 Jan;19(1):24-31.

The temporal dynamics of postanoxic burst-suppression EEG.

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Department of Neurology, University of Mainz, Langenbeckstrasse 1, D-55101 Mainz, Germany.


Burst-suppression EEG (BS-EEG) after cardiopulmonary resuscitation implies a bad prognosis, but little is known of the temporal dynamics of postanoxic BS-EEG. The authors studied 24 consecutive patients who developed BS-EEG within 24 hours after cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and followed 20 of these patients with serial EEGs. Except for one patient, BS-EEG was followed by another EEG pattern within 1 day, mainly areactive alpha EEG (n = 6), isoelectric EEG (n = 5), generalized continuous epileptiform discharges (n = 4), or theta; EEG (n = 3). The coexistence of different EEG patterns in the same recording was seen in 10 patients. Serial recordings disclosed a variety of EEG sequences with (often subtle) transitions between the different EEG patterns, including reappearance of BS-EEG. Postanoxic BS-EEG is followed by a variety of EEG sequences composed of different EEG patterns, each of which is recognized as an unfavorable sign in and of itself. The coexistence of different unfavorable EEG patterns in the same recording, and transitions between these EEG patterns in subsequent recordings, are common in patients with postanoxic BS-EEG. It seems reasonable to speculate that BS-EEG and subsequently evolving EEG patterns in anoxic encephalopathy reflect different forms of neocortical dysfunction, which occur at different stages of a dynamic process, leading ultimately to severe neuronal loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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