JOURNAL ARTICLE

Clinical outcome after a reactive hypothermic EEG following cardiac arrest

Spyridoula Tsetsou, Mauro Oddo, Andrea O Rossetti
Neurocritical Care 2013, 19 (3): 283-6
23900707

BACKGROUND: Reactive electroencephalography (EEG) background during therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is related to favorable prognosis after cardiac arrest (CA), but its predictive value is not 100 %. The aim of this study was to investigate outcome predictors after a first reactive EEG recorded during TH after CA.

METHODS: We studied a cohort of consecutive comatose adults admitted between February 2008 and November 2012, after successful resuscitation from CA, selecting patients with reactive EEG during TH. Outcome was assessed at three months, and categorized as survivors and non-survivors (no patient was in vegetative state). Demographics, clinical variables, EEG features, serum neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and procalcitonin, were compared using uni- and multivariable analyses.

RESULTS: A total of 290 patients were treated with TH after cardiac arrest; 146 had an EEG during TH, which proved reactive in 90 of them; 77 (86 %) survived and 13 (14 %) died (without recovery from coma). The group of non-survivors had a higher occurrence of discontinuous EEG (p = 0.006; multivariate analysis p = 0.026), and a higher serum NSE peak (p = 0.021; multivariate analysis p = 0.014); conversely, demographics, and other clinical variables including serum procalcitonin did not differ.

CONCLUSIONS: A discontinuous EEG and high serum NSE are associated with mortality after CA in patients with poor outcome despite a reactive hypothermic EEG. This suggests more severe cerebral damage, but not to higher extent of systemic disease.

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