Early multimodal outcome prediction after cardiac arrest in patients treated with hypothermia

Mauro Oddo, Andrea O Rossetti
Critical Care Medicine 2014, 42 (6): 1340-7

OBJECTIVES: Therapeutic hypothermia and pharmacological sedation may influence outcome prediction after cardiac arrest. The use of a multimodal approach, including clinical examination, electroencephalography, somatosensory-evoked potentials, and serum neuron-specific enolase, is recommended; however, no study examined the comparative performance of these predictors or addressed their optimal combination.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: Adult ICU of an academic hospital.

PATIENTS: One hundred thirty-four consecutive adults treated with therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Variables related to the cardiac arrest (cardiac rhythm, time to return of spontaneous circulation), clinical examination (brainstem reflexes and myoclonus), electroencephalography reactivity during therapeutic hypothermia, somatosensory-evoked potentials, and serum neuron-specific enolase. Models to predict clinical outcome at 3 months (assessed using the Cerebral Performance Categories: 5 = death; 3-5 = poor recovery) were evaluated using ordinal logistic regressions and receiving operator characteristic curves. Seventy-two patients (54%) had a poor outcome (of whom, 62 died), and 62 had a good outcome. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression identified absence of electroencephalography reactivity (p < 0.001), incomplete recovery of brainstem reflexes in normothermia (p = 0.013), and neuron-specific enolase higher than 33 μg/L (p = 0.029), but not somatosensory-evoked potentials, as independent predictors of poor outcome. The combination of clinical examination, electroencephalography reactivity, and neuron-specific enolase yielded the best predictive performance (receiving operator characteristic areas: 0.89 for mortality and 0.88 for poor outcome), with 100% positive predictive value. Addition of somatosensory-evoked potentials to this model did not improve prognostic accuracy.

CONCLUSIONS: Combination of clinical examination, electroencephalography reactivity, and serum neuron-specific enolase offers the best outcome predictive performance for prognostication of early postanoxic coma, whereas somatosensory-evoked potentials do not add any complementary information. Although prognostication of poor outcome seems excellent, future studies are needed to further improve prediction of good prognosis, which still remains inaccurate.

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