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Crit Care. 2013 Jul 23;17(4):233. doi: 10.1186/cc12699.

Clinical review: Continuous and simplified electroencephalography to monitor brain recovery after cardiac arrest.

Abstract

There has been a dramatic change in hospital care of cardiac arrest survivors in recent years, including the use of target temperature management (hypothermia). Clinical signs of recovery or deterioration, which previously could be observed, are now concealed by sedation, analgesia, and muscle paralysis. Seizures are common after cardiac arrest, but few centers can offer high-quality electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring around the clock. This is due primarily to its complexity and lack of resources but also to uncertainty regarding the clinical value of monitoring EEG and of treating post-ischemic electrographic seizures. Thanks to technical advances in recent years, EEG monitoring has become more available. Large amounts of EEG data can be linked within a hospital or between neighboring hospitals for expert opinion. Continuous EEG (cEEG) monitoring provides dynamic information and can be used to assess the evolution of EEG patterns and to detect seizures. cEEG can be made more simple by reducing the number of electrodes and by adding trend analysis to the original EEG curves. In our version of simplified cEEG, we combine a reduced montage, displaying two channels of the original EEG, with amplitude-integrated EEG trend curves (aEEG). This is a convenient method to monitor cerebral function in comatose patients after cardiac arrest but has yet to be validated against the gold standard, a multichannel cEEG. We recently proposed a simplified system for interpreting EEG rhythms after cardiac arrest, defining four major EEG patterns. In this topical review, we will discuss cEEG to monitor brain function after cardiac arrest in general and how a simplified cEEG, with a reduced number of electrodes and trend analysis, may facilitate and improve care.

PMID:
23876221
PMCID:
PMC4056658
DOI:
10.1186/cc12699
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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