Neurocritical Care

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 283–286 | Cite as

Clinical Outcome After a Reactive Hypothermic EEG Following Cardiac Arrest

  • Spyridoula TsetsouEmail author
  • Mauro Oddo
  • Andrea O. Rossetti
Original Research



Reactive electroencephalography (EEG) background during therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is related to favorable prognosis after cardiac arrest (CA), but its predictive value is not 100 %. The aim of this study was to investigate outcome predictors after a first reactive EEG recorded during TH after CA.


We studied a cohort of consecutive comatose adults admitted between February 2008 and November 2012, after successful resuscitation from CA, selecting patients with reactive EEG during TH. Outcome was assessed at three months, and categorized as survivors and non-survivors (no patient was in vegetative state). Demographics, clinical variables, EEG features, serum neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and procalcitonin, were compared using uni- and multivariable analyses.


A total of 290 patients were treated with TH after cardiac arrest; 146 had an EEG during TH, which proved reactive in 90 of them; 77 (86 %) survived and 13 (14 %) died (without recovery from coma). The group of non-survivors had a higher occurrence of discontinuous EEG (p = 0.006; multivariate analysis p = 0.026), and a higher serum NSE peak (p = 0.021; multivariate analysis p = 0.014); conversely, demographics, and other clinical variables including serum procalcitonin did not differ.


A discontinuous EEG and high serum NSE are associated with mortality after CA in patients with poor outcome despite a reactive hypothermic EEG. This suggests more severe cerebral damage, but not to higher extent of systemic disease.


Postanoxic Therapeutic hypothermia Epileptiform Seizures Discontinuous Prognosis 



The authors thank Christine Stähli, RN, Dr. Alba Sierra, the EEG fellows and technologists, and the ICU fellows, for their help in data collection.


The Swiss National Science Foundation provides financial support to AOR (CR32I3_143780) and MO (320030_138191).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Spyridoula Tsetsou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mauro Oddo
    • 2
  • Andrea O. Rossetti
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Faculty of Biology and MedicineUniversity HospitalLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Faculty of Biology and MedicineUniversity HospitalLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Service de NeurologieCHUV-BH07LausanneSwitzerland

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