Early electroencephalography for outcome prediction of postanoxic coma: A prospective cohort study

Barry J. Ruijter*, Marleen C. Tjepkema-Cloostermans, Selma C. Tromp, Walter M. van den Bergh, Norbert A. Foudraine, Francois H.M. Kornips, Gea Drost, Erik Scholten, Frank H. Bosch, Albertus Beishuizen, Michel J.A.M. van Putten, Jeannette Hofmeijer

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: To provide evidence that early electroencephalography (EEG) allows for reliable prediction of poor or good outcome after cardiac arrest. Methods: In a 5-center prospective cohort study, we included consecutive, comatose survivors of cardiac arrest. Continuous EEG recordings were started as soon as possible and continued up to 5 days. Five-minute EEG epochs were assessed by 2 reviewers, independently, at 8 predefined time points from 6 hours to 5 days after cardiac arrest, blinded for patients’ actual condition, treatment, and outcome. EEG patterns were categorized as generalized suppression (<10 μV), synchronous patterns with ≥50% suppression, continuous, or other. Outcome at 6 months was categorized as good (Cerebral Performance Category [CPC] = 1–2) or poor (CPC = 3–5). Results: We included 850 patients, of whom 46% had a good outcome. Generalized suppression and synchronous patterns with ≥50% suppression predicted poor outcome without false positives at ≥6 hours after cardiac arrest. Their summed sensitivity was 0.47 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.42–0.51) at 12 hours and 0.30 (95% CI = 0.26–0.33) at 24 hours after cardiac arrest, with specificity of 1.00 (95% CI = 0.99–1.00) at both time points. At 36 hours or later, sensitivity for poor outcome was ≤0.22. Continuous EEG patterns at 12 hours predicted good outcome, with sensitivity of 0.50 (95% CI = 0.46–0.55) and specificity of 0.91 (95% CI = 0.88–0.93); at 24 hours or later, specificity for the prediction of good outcome was <0.90. Interpretation: EEG allows for reliable prediction of poor outcome after cardiac arrest, with maximum sensitivity in the first 24 hours. Continuous EEG patterns at 12 hours after cardiac arrest are associated with good recovery. ANN NEUROL 2019;86:203–214.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number2
Early online date2 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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