John Libbey Eurotext

A comparison of continuous video-EEG monitoring and 30-minute EEG in an ICU Volume 16, numéro 4, December 2014


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1 St. Luke's University Health Center, Bethlehem, PA
2 Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
3 Mission Neurology, Asheville, NC
4 MidState Medical Center, Meriden, CT
5 Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga, TN
6 University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX
7 Department of Neurology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
8 University of Vermont, College of Medicine, Burlington VT, USA
* Correspondence: Vijay M. Thadani Department of Neurology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA

Aim. To determine whether there is added benefit in detecting electrographic abnormalities from 16-24 hours of continuous video-EEG in adult medical/surgical ICU patients, compared to a 30-minute EEG.

Methods. This was a prospectively enroled non-randomized study of 130 consecutive ICU patients for whom EEG was requested. For 117 patients, a 30-minute EEG was requested for altered mental state and/or suspected seizures; 83 patients continued with continuous video-EEG for 16-24 hours and 34 patients had only the 30-minute EEG. For 13 patients with prior seizures, continuous video-EEG was requested and was carried out for 16-24 hours. We gathered EEG data prospectively, and reviewed the medical records retrospectively to assess the impact of continuous video-EEG.

Results. A total of 83 continuous video-EEG recordings were performed for 16-24 hours beyond 30 minutes of routine EEG. All were slow, and 34% showed epileptiform findings in the first 30 minutes, including 2% with seizures. Over 16-24 hours, 14% developed new or additional epileptiform abnormalities, including 6% with seizures. In 8%, treatment was changed based on continuous video-EEG. Among the 34 EEGs limited to 30 minutes, almost all were slow and 18% showed epileptiform activity, including 3% with seizures. Among the 13 patients with known seizures, continuous video-EEG was slow in all and 69% had epileptiform abnormalities in the first 30 minutes, including 31% with seizures. An additional 8% developed epileptiform abnormalities over 16-24 hours. In 46%, treatment was changed based on continuous video-EEG.

Conclusion. This study indicates that if continuous video-EEG is not available, a 30-minute EEG in the ICU has a substantial diagnostic yield and will lead to the detection of the majority of epileptiform abnormalities. In a small percentage of patients, continuous video-EEG will lead to the detection of additional epileptiform abnormalities. In a sub-population, with a history of seizures prior to the initiation of EEG recording, the benefits of continuous video-EEG in monitoring seizure activity and influencing treatment may be greater.