Electroencephalography Predicts Poor and Good Outcomes after Cardiac Arrest: A Two-Center Study

Andrea O. Rossetti, Diego F. Tovar Quiroga, Elsa Juan, Jan Novy, Roger D. White, Nawfel Ben-Hamouda, Jeffrey W. Britton, Mauro Oddo, Alejandro A. Rabinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Objective: The prognostic role of electroencephalography during and after targeted temperature management in postcardiac arrest patients, relatively to other predictors, is incompletely known. We assessed performances of electroencephalography during and after targeted temperature management toward good and poor outcomes, along with other recognized predictors. Design: Cohort study (April 2009 to March 2016). Setting: Two academic hospitals (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN). Patients: Consecutive comatose adults admitted after cardiac arrest, identified through prospective registries. Interventions: All patients were managed with targeted temperature management, receiving prespecified standardized clinical, neurophysiologic (particularly, electroencephalography during and after targeted temperature management), and biochemical evaluations. Measurements and Main Results: We assessed electroencephalography variables (reactivity, continuity, epileptiform features, and prespecified "benign" or "highly malignant" patterns based on the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society nomenclature) and other clinical, neurophysiologic (somatosensory-evoked potential), and biochemical prognosticators. Good outcome (Cerebral Performance Categories 1 and 2) and mortality predictions at 3 months were calculated. Among 357 patients, early electroencephalography reactivity and continuity and flexor or better motor reaction had greater than 70% positive predictive value for good outcome; reactivity (80.4%; 95% CI, 75.9-84.4%) and motor response (80.1%; 95% CI, 75.6-84.1%) had highest accuracy. Early benign electroencephalography heralded good outcome in 86.2% (95% CI, 79.8-91.1%). False positive rates for mortality were less than 5% for epileptiform or nonreactive early electroencephalography, nonreactive late electroencephalography, absent somatosensory-evoked potential, absent pupillary or corneal reflexes, presence of myoclonus, and neuron-specific enolase greater than 75 μg/L; accuracy was highest for early electroencephalography reactivity (86.6%; 95% CI, 82.6-90.0). Early highly malignant electroencephalography had an false positive rate of 1.5% with accuracy of 85.7% (95% CI, 81.7-89.2%). Conclusions: This study provides class III evidence that electroencephalography reactivity predicts both poor and good outcomes, and motor reaction good outcome after cardiac arrest. Electroencephalography reactivity seems to be the best discriminator between good and poor outcomes. Standardized electroencephalography interpretation seems to predict both conditions during and after targeted temperature management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e674-e682
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • EEG
  • coma
  • outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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