Sources of interrater variability and prognostic value of standardized EEG features in post-anoxic coma after resuscitated cardiac arrest

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Abstract

Objectives: To assess interrater variability and prognostic value of simple EEG features based on the recent American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (ACNS) classification in post cardiac arrest comatose patients. Methods: All patients admitted for a resuscitated cardiac arrest in a university hospital were prospectively included in the study. EEG interpretation was made by 3 independent neurophysiologists (2 senior and 1 junior) blind to the outcome. Kappa score and prognostic performances were estimated for each EEG pattern and discrepancies were analyzed. Results: 122 cardiac arrest patients were admitted of whom 48 went through a full neurologic evaluation. Eighty-one percent had an unfavorable outcome. Burst suppression, paroxystic seizure activity, and non-reactive EEG were strongly associated with an unfavorable evolution. Kappa score between the senior neurophysiologists was excellent or substantial while it was only fair or slight between the junior and senior neurophysiologists. Reactivity, discontinuity and electrographic seizure were patterns particularly subject to discrepancy. Conclusions: Bedside EEG is an excellent tool for predicting outcome of post-anoxic coma through simple EEG features. However, the interrater variability emphasizes the need to be well trained for the standardized methods of evaluating EEG parameters. Significance: A second look at complex patterns seems mandatory. The development of automated tools could help to improve the reliability of EEG interpretation.

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Benarous, L., Gavaret, M., Soda Diop, M., Tobarias, J., de Ghaisne de Bourmont, S., Allez, C., … Trebuchon, A. (2019). Sources of interrater variability and prognostic value of standardized EEG features in post-anoxic coma after resuscitated cardiac arrest. Clinical Neurophysiology Practice, 4, 20–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cnp.2018.12.001

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