Stroke is the second most common cause of seizures in term neonates and is associated with abnormal long-term neurodevelopmental outcome in some cases.
To aid diagnosis earlier in the postnatal period, our aim was to describe the characteristic EEG patterns in term neonates with perinatal arterial ischaemic stroke (PAIS) seizures.
Retrospective observational study.
Neonates >37 weeks born between 2003 and 2011 in two hospitals.
Continuous multichannel video-EEG was used to analyze the background patterns and characteristics of seizures. Each EEG was assessed for continuity, symmetry, characteristic features and sleep cycling; morphology of electrographic seizures was also examined. Each seizure was categorized as electrographic-only or electroclinical; the percentage of seizure events for each seizure type was also summarized.
Nine neonates with PAIS seizures and EEG monitoring were identified. While EEG continuity was present in all cases, the background pattern showed suppression over the infarcted side; this was quite marked (>50% amplitude reduction) when the lesion was large. Characteristic unilateral bursts of theta activity with sharp or spike waves intermixed were seen in all cases. Sleep cycling was generally present but was more disturbed over the infarcted side. Seizures demonstrated a characteristic pattern; focal sharp waves/spike-polyspikes were seen at frequency of 1–2 Hz and phase reversal over the central region was common. Electrographic-only seizure events were more frequent compared to electroclinical seizure events (78 vs 22%).
Focal electrographic and electroclinical seizures with ipsilateral suppression of the background activity and focal sharp waves are strong indicators of PAIS. Approximately 80% of seizure events were the result of clinically unsuspected seizures in neonates with PAIS. Prolonged and continuous multichannel video-EEG monitoring is advocated for adequate seizure surveillance.
Hypoxic ischemic brain injury secondary to pediatric cardiac arrest (CA) may result in acute symptomatic seizures. A high proportion of seizures may be nonconvulsive, so accurate diagnosis requires continuous EEG monitoring. We aimed to determine the safety and feasibility of long-term EEG monitoring, to describe electroencephalographic background and seizure characteristics, and to identify background features predictive of seizures in children undergoing therapeutic hypothermia (TH) after CA.
Nineteen children underwent TH after CA. Continuous EEG monitoring was performed during hypothermia (24 hours), rewarming (12–24 hours), and then an additional 24 hours of normothermia. The tolerability of these prolonged studies and the EEG background classification and seizure characteristics were described in a standardized manner.
No complications of EEG monitoring were reported or observed. Electrographic seizures occurred in 47% (9/19), and 32% (6/19) developed status epilepticus. Seizures were nonconvulsive in 67% (6/9) and electrographically generalized in 78% (7/9). Seizures commenced during the late hypothermic or rewarming periods (8/9). Factors predictive of electrographic seizures were burst suppression or excessively discontinuous EEG background patterns, interictal epileptiform discharges, or an absence of the expected pharmacologically induced beta activity. Background features evolved over time. Patients with slowing and attenuation tended to improve, whereas those with burst suppression tended to worsen.
EEG monitoring in children undergoing therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest is safe and feasible. Electrographic seizures and status epilepticus are common in this setting but are often not detectable by clinical observation alone. The EEG background often evolves over time, with milder abnormalities improving and more severe abnormalities worsening.
= burst suppression;
= cardiac arrest;
= cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
= developmental delay;
= hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy;
= nonconvulsive seizures;
= nonconvulsive status epilepticus;
= negative predictive value;
= periodic epileptiform discharge;
= pediatric intensive care unit;
= positive predictive value;
= status epilepticus;
= sudden infant death syndrome;
= therapeutic hypothermia;
= valproic acid;
= ventricular tachycardia.
Aims: To evaluate the effectiveness of phenobarbitone as an anticonvulsant in neonates.
Methods: An observational study using video-EEG telemetry. Video-EEG was obtained before treatment was started, for an hour after treatment was given, two hours after treatment was given, and again between 12 and 24 hours after treatment was given. Patients were recruited from all babies who required phenobarbitone (20–40 mg/kg intravenously over 20 minutes) for suspected clinical seizures and had EEG monitoring one hour before and up to 24 hours after the initial dose. An EEG seizure discharge was defined as a sudden repetitive stereotyped discharge lasting for at least 10 seconds. Neonatal status epilepticus was defined as continuous seizure activity for at least 30 minutes. Seizures were categorised as EEG seizure discharges only (electrographic), or as EEG seizure discharges with accompanying clinical manifestations (electroclinical). Surviving babies were assessed at one year using the Griffiths neurodevelopmental score.
Results: Fourteen babies were studied. Four responded to phenobarbitone; these had normal or moderately abnormal EEG background abnormalities and outcome was good. In the other 10 babies electrographic seizures increased after treatment, whereas electroclinical seizures reduced. Three babies were treated with second line anticonvulsants, of whom two responded. One of these had a normal neurodevelopmental score at one year, but the outcome for the remainder of the whole group was poor.
Conclusion: Phenobarbitone is often ineffective as a first line anticonvulsant in neonates with seizures in whom the background EEG is significantly abnormal.
Retrospective studies have reported the occurrence of nonconvulsive seizures in critically ill children. We aimed to prospectively determine the incidence and risk factors of nonconvulsive seizures in critically ill children using predetermined EEG monitoring indications and EEG interpretation terminology.
Critically ill children (non-neonates) with acute encephalopathy underwent continuous EEG monitoring if they met institutional clinical practice criteria. Study enrollment and data collection were prospective. Logistic regression analysis was utilized to identify risk factors for seizure occurrence.
One hundred children were evaluated. Electrographic seizures occurred in 46 and electrographic status epilepticus occurred in 19. Seizures were exclusively nonconvulsive in 32. The only clinical risk factor for seizure occurrence was younger age (p = 0.03). Of patients with seizures, only 52% had seizures detected in the first hour of monitoring, while 87% were detected within 24 hours.
Seizures were common in critically ill children with acute encephalopathy. Most were nonconvulsive. Clinical features had little predictive value for seizure occurrence. Further study is needed to confirm these data in independent high-risk populations, to clarify which children are at highest risk for seizures so limited monitoring resources can be allocated optimally, and to determine whether seizure detection and management improves outcome.
To determine the prevalence of nonconvulsive seizures in children with abusive head trauma.
Retrospective study of children with abusive head trauma undergoing clinically indicated continuous electroencephalographic monitoring.
PICU of a tertiary care hospital.
Children less than or equal to 2 years old with evidence of abusive head trauma determined by neuroimaging, physical examination, and determination of abuse by the Child Protection Team.
Measurements and Main Results
Thirty-two children with abusive head trauma were identified with a median age of 4 months (interquartile range 3, 5.5 months). Twenty-one of 32 children (66%) underwent electroencephalographic monitoring. Those monitored were more likely to have a lower admission Glasgow Coma Scale (8 vs 15, p = 0.05) and be intubated (16 vs 2, p = 0.002). Electrographic seizures occurred in 12 of 21 children (57%) and constituted electrographic status epilepticus in 8 of 12 children (67%). Electrographic seizures were entirely nonconvulsive in 8 of 12 children (67%). Electroencephalographic background category (discontinuous and slow-disorganized) (p = 0.02) and neuroimaging evidence of ischemia were associated with the presence of electrographic seizures (p = 0.05). Subjects who had electrographic seizures were no more likely to have clinical seizures at admission (67% electrographic seizures vs 33% none, p = 0.6), parenchymal imaging abnormalities (61% electrographic seizures vs 39% none, p = 0.40), or extra-axial imaging abnormalities (56% electrographic seizures vs 44% none, p = 0.72). Four of 21 (19%) children died prior to discharge; none had electrographic seizures, but all had attenuated-featureless electroencephalographic backgrounds. Follow-up outcome data were available for 16 of 17 survivors at a median duration of 9.5 months following PICU admission, and the presence of electrographic seizures or electrographic status epilepticus was not associated with the Glasgow Outcome Scale score (p = 0.10).
Electrographic seizures and electrographic status epilepticus are common in children with abusive head trauma. Most seizures have no clinical correlate. Further study is needed to determine whether seizure identification and management improves outcome.
abusive head trauma; electroencephalographic monitoring; electroencephalography; seizure; traumatic brain injury
BACKGROUND—Seizures are a prominent
feature of childhood cerebral malaria, and are associated with an
increased risk of death and neurological sequelae. We present the
electroencephalographic (EEG) findings from a detailed clinical and
METHODS—Children with cerebral
malaria had EEGs recorded within six hours of admission, and at 12 hourly intervals until recovery of consciousness. Ten deeply comatose
children underwent intracranial pressure monitoring. Children were not
mechanically ventilated, which made it possible to directly correlate
the clinical and EEG findings.
RESULTS—Of 65 children aged 9 months and above, 40 had one or more seizures, and 18 had an episode of
status epilepticus. Most seizures were partial motor, and spike wave
activity consistently arose from the posterior temporo-parietal
region, a border zone area lying between territories supplied by the
carotid and vertebrobasilar circulations. Fifteen children had seizures
that were clinically subtle or electrographic. Clinical seizures were
associated with an abrupt rise in intracranial pressure. Fifty children
recovered fully, seven died, and eight had persistent neurological
sequelae. Initial EEG recordings of very slow frequency, or with
background asymmetry, burst suppression, or interictal discharges, were
associated with an adverse outcome.
CONCLUSIONS—Serial EEG recording
has uncovered a range of clinical, subtle, and electrographic seizures
complicating childhood cerebral malaria, and has emphasised their
importance in the pathogenesis of coma. Further work is required to
determine the most appropriate regimen for the prophylaxis and
treatment of seizures in cerebral malaria, in order to improve outcome.
Seizures are common in comatose children, but may be clinically subtle or only manifest on continuous electroencephalographic monitoring (cEEG); any association with outcome remains uncertain.
cEEG (one to three channels) was performed for a median 42 h (range 2–630 h) in 204 unventilated and ventilated children aged ≤15 years (18 neonates, 61 infants) in coma with different aetiologies. Outcome at 1 month was independently determined and dichotomized for survivors into favourable (normal or moderate neurological handicap) and unfavourable (severe handicap or vegetative state).
Of the 204 patients, 110 had clinical seizures (CS) before cEEG commenced. During cEEG, 74 patients (36 %, 95 % confidence interval, 95 % CI, 32–41 %) had electroencephalographic seizures (ES), the majority without clinical accompaniment (non-convulsive seizures, NCS). CS occurred before NCS in 69 of the 204 patients; 5 ventilated with NCS had no CS observed. Death (93/204; 46 %) was independently predicted by admission Paediatric Index of Mortality (PIM; adjusted odds ratio, aOR, 1.027, 95 % CI 1.012–1.042; p < 0.0005), Adelaide coma score (aOR 0.813, 95 % CI 0.700–0.943; p = 0.006), and EEG grade on admission (excess slow with >3 % fast, aOR 5.43, 95 % CI 1.90–15.6; excess slow with <3 % fast, aOR 8.71, 95 % CI 2.58–29.4; low amplitude, 10th centile <9 µV, aOR 3.78, 95 % CI 1.23–11.7; and burst suppression, aOR 10.68, 95 % CI 2.31–49.4) compared with normal cEEG, as well as absence of CS at any time (aOR 2.38, 95 % CI 1.18–4.81). Unfavourable outcome (29/111 survivors; 26 %) was independently predicted by the presence of ES (aOR 15.4, 95 % CI 4.7–49.7) and PIM (aOR 1.036, 95 % CI 1.013–1.059).
Seizures are common in comatose children, and are associated with an unfavourable outcome in survivors. cEEG allows the detection of subtle CS and NCS and is a prognostic tool.
Seizures; Status epilepticus; Coma; Child; Outcome; Medicine & Public Health; Pain Medicine; Emergency Medicine; Intensive / Critical Care Medicine; Pneumology/Respiratory System; Pediatrics; Anesthesiology
Seizures in the newborn brain represent a major challenge to neonatal medicine. Neonatal seizures are poorly classified, under-diagnosed, difficult to treat and are associated with poor neurodevelopmental outcome. Video-EEG is the current gold-standard approach for seizure detection and monitoring. Interpreting neonatal EEG requires expertise and the impact of seizures on the developing brain remains poorly understood. In this case study we present the first ever images of the haemodynamic impact of seizures on the human infant brain, obtained using simultaneous diffuse optical tomography (DOT) and video-EEG with whole-scalp coverage. Seven discrete periods of ictal electrographic activity were observed during a 60 minute recording of an infant with hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy. The resulting DOT images show a remarkably consistent, high-amplitude, biphasic pattern of changes in cortical blood volume and oxygenation in response to each electrographic event. While there is spatial variation across the cortex, the dominant haemodynamic response to seizure activity consists of an initial increase in cortical blood volume prior to a large and extended decrease typically lasting several minutes. This case study demonstrates the wealth of physiologically and clinically relevant information that DOT–EEG techniques can yield. The consistency and scale of the haemodynamic responses observed here also suggest that DOT–EEG has the potential to provide improved detection of neonatal seizures.
•We present the first DOT images of seizures in an infant with whole-scalp coverage.•In this infant, seizures produce consistent, large, biphasic haemodynamic responses.•DOT reveals spatial variation in seizure response despite generalised EEG activity.
Diffuse optical tomography (DOT); Neonatal seizures; Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS); Hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE)
We aimed to determine the incidence of electrographic seizures in children in the pediatric intensive care unit who underwent EEG monitoring, risk factors for electrographic seizures, and whether electrographic seizures were associated with increased odds of mortality.
Eleven sites in North America retrospectively reviewed a total of 550 consecutive children in pediatric intensive care units who underwent EEG monitoring. We collected data on demographics, diagnoses, clinical seizures, mental status at EEG onset, EEG background, interictal epileptiform discharges, electrographic seizures, intensive care unit length of stay, and in-hospital mortality.
Electrographic seizures occurred in 162 of 550 subjects (30%), of which 61 subjects (38%) had electrographic status epilepticus. Electrographic seizures were exclusively subclinical in 59 of 162 subjects (36%). A multivariable logistic regression model showed that independent risk factors for electrographic seizures included younger age, clinical seizures prior to EEG monitoring, an abnormal initial EEG background, interictal epileptiform discharges, and a diagnosis of epilepsy. Subjects with electrographic status epilepticus had greater odds of in-hospital death, even after adjusting for EEG background and neurologic diagnosis category.
Electrographic seizures are common among children in the pediatric intensive care unit, particularly those with specific risk factors. Electrographic status epilepticus occurs in more than one-third of children with electrographic seizures and is associated with higher in-hospital mortality.
Continuous EEG monitoring is used with increasing frequency in critically ill children to provide insight into brain function and to identify electrographic seizures. EEG monitoring use often impacts clinical management, most often by identifying electrographic seizures and status epilepticus. Most electrographic seizures have no clinical correlate, and thus would not be identified without EEG monitoring. There is increasing data that electrographic seizures and electrographic status epilepticus are associated with worse outcome. Seizure identification efficiency may be improved by further development of quantitative EEG trends. This review describes the clinical impact of EEG data, the epidemiology of electrographic seizures and status epilepticus, the impact of electrographic seizures on outcome, the utility of quantitative EEG trends for seizure identification, and practical considerations regarding EEG monitoring.
EEG; EEG monitoring; seizure; status epilepticus; intensive care unit; critical care
To determine if posttraumatic nonconvulsive electrographic seizures result in long-term brain atrophy.
Prospective continuous EEG (cEEG) monitoring was done in 140 patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and in-depth study of 16 selected patients was done using serial volumetric MRI acutely and at 6 months after TBI. Fluorodeoxyglucose PET was done in the acute stage in 14/16 patients. These data were retrospectively analyzed after collection of data for 7 years.
cEEG detected seizures in 32/140 (23%) of the entire cohort. In the selected imaging subgroup, 6 patients with seizures were compared with a cohort of 10 age- and GCS-matched patients with TBI without seizures. In this subgroup, the seizures were repetitive and constituted status epilepticus in 4/6 patients. Patients with seizures had greater hippocampal atrophy as compared to those without seizures (21 ± 9 vs 12 ± 6%, p = 0.017). Hippocampi ipsilateral to the electrographic seizure focus demonstrated a greater degree of volumetric atrophy as compared with nonseizure hippocampi (28 ± 5 vs 13 ± 9%, p = 0.007). A single patient had an ictal PET scan which demonstrated increased hippocampal glucose uptake.
Acute posttraumatic nonconvulsive seizures occur frequently after TBI and, in a selected subgroup, appear to be associated with disproportionate long-term hippocampal atrophy. These data suggest anatomic damage is potentially elicited by nonconvulsive seizures in the acute postinjury setting.
= continuous EEG;
= fluid-attenuated inversion recovery;
= Glasgow Coma Scale score;
= gradient recalled echo;
= intensive care unit;
= traumatic brain injury.
To determine whether the absence of early epileptiform abnormalities predicts absence of later seizures on continuous EEG monitoring of hospitalized patients.
We retrospectively reviewed 242 consecutive patients without a prior generalized convulsive seizure or active epilepsy who underwent continuous EEG monitoring lasting at least 18 hours for detection of nonconvulsive seizures or evaluation of unexplained altered mental status. The findings on the initial 30-minute screening EEG, subsequent continuous EEG recordings, and baseline clinical data were analyzed. We identified early EEG findings associated with absence of seizures on subsequent continuous EEG.
Seizures were detected in 70 (29%) patients. A total of 52 patients had their first seizure in the initial 30 minutes of continuous EEG monitoring. Of the remaining 190 patients, 63 had epileptiform discharges on their initial EEG, 24 had triphasic waves, while 103 had no epileptiform abnormalities. Seizures were later detected in 22% (n = 14) of studies with epileptiform discharges on their initial EEG, vs 3% (n = 3) of the studies without epileptiform abnormalities on initial EEG (p < 0.001). In the 3 patients without epileptiform abnormalities on initial EEG but with subsequent seizures, the first epileptiform discharge or electrographic seizure occurred within the first 4 hours of recording.
In patients without epileptiform abnormalities during the first 4 hours of recording, no seizures were subsequently detected. Therefore, EEG features early in the recording may indicate a low risk for seizures, and help determine whether extended monitoring is necessary.
Traumatic brain injury and generalized convulsive status epilepticus (GCSE) are conditions that require aggressive management. Barbiturates are used to lower intracranial pressure or to stop epileptiform activity, with the aim being to improve neurological outcome. Dosing of barbiturates is usually guided by the extent of induced burst-suppression pattern on the electroencephalogram (EEG). Dosing beyond the point of burst suppression may increase the risk for complications without offering further therapeutic benefit. For this reason, careful monitoring of EEG parameters is mandatory. A prospective study was conducted to evaluate the usefulness of the bispectral index suppression ratio for monitoring barbiturate coma.
A prospective observational pilot study was performed at a paediatric (surgical) intensive care unit, including all children with barbiturate-induced coma after traumatic brain injury or GCSE. The BIS™ (Bispectral™ index) monitor expresses a suppression ratio, which represents the percentage of epochs per minute in which the EEG was suppressed. Suppression ratios from the BIS monitor were compared with suppression ratios of full-channel EEG as assessed by quantitative visual analysis.
Five patients with GCSE and three patients after traumatic brain injury (median age 11.6 years, range 4 months to 15 years) were included. In four patients the correlation between the suppression ratios of the BIS and EEG could be determined; the average correlation was 0.68. In two patients, suppression ratios were either high or low, with no intermediate values. This precluded determination of correlation values, as did the isoelectric EEG in a further two patients. In the latter patients, the mean ± standard error BIS suppression ratio was 95 ± 1.6.
Correlations between suppression ratios of the BIS and EEG were found to be only moderate. In particular, asymmetrical EEGs and EEGs with short bursts (less than 1 second) may result in aberrant BIS suppression ratios. The BIS monitor potentially aids monitoring of barbiturate-induced coma because it provides continuous data on EEG suppression between full EEG registrations, but it should be used with caution.
To describe the association between electrographic seizures and brain injury judged from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in newborns treated with hypothermia.
56 newborns treated with hypothermia were monitored using video-EEG through cooling and rewarming, and imaged at a median of 5 days. EEGs were reviewed for seizures and status epilepticus. Moderate-severe injury on MRI was measured using a classification similar to one predicting abnormal outcome in an analogous population.
Seizures were recorded in 17 newborns, five withstatus epilepticus. Moderate-severe injury was more common in newborns with seizures (RR 2.9; 95%CI 1.2-4.5; P=0.02), and present in all with status epilepticus. Children with moderate-severe injury had seizures that were multifocal, later onset, and more likely to have ongoing seizures following 20mg/kg phenobarbital. Newborns with only subclinical seizures were as likely to have injury as compared with those whose seizures had a clinical correlate (57% vs. 60%).
Seizures remain a risk factor for brain injury in the setting of therapeutic hypothermia, especially in neonates with status epilepticus, multifocal onset seizures, and need for multiple medications.However, 40% were spared from brain injury, suggesting that the outcome following seizures is not uniformly poor in children treated with therapeutic hypothermia.
Intensive care; Infant, newborn; Hypothermia, induced; Seizures; Electroencephalography; Magnetic resonance imaging
Background: The cerebral function monitor (CFM) is widely used to detect neonatal seizures, but there are very few studies comparing it with simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG).
Objective: To determine the accuracy of non-expert use of the CFM and to assess interobserver agreement of CFM seizure detection.
Patients: Babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at King's College Hospital who were at high risk of seizure and had video-EEG monitoring.
Methods: Video-EEG was used to detect seizures. Each baby had CFM recordings at speeds of 6, 15, and 30 cm/h during the EEG. Four neonatologists, trained in CFM seizure recognition, independently rated one hour CFM samples at three speeds from each baby. Interobserver agreement was quantified using Cohen's κ.
Results: CFM traces from 19 babies with EEG seizures and 21 babies without EEG seizures were analysed. Overall non-expert interpretation of the CFM performed poorly as a seizure detector compared with simultaneous EEG (sensitivities 38% at 6 cm/h; 54% at 15 cm/h; 55% at 30 cm/h). Although babies with seizures were more likely to be correctly classified at higher speeds (p = 0.02), babies without seizures were also more likely to be misclassified (p < 0.001). Agreement between observers was not good at any speed (κ values from 0.01 to 0.39). The observers usually detected generalised seizures but often missed seizures that were focal, low amplitude, or lasted less than one minute.
Conclusion: Approximately half of all neonatal seizures may be missed using CFM alone. Neonatal seizures need to be diagnosed, characterised, and quantified first using EEG. The CFM may then be useful for long term monitoring.
Electrographic seizures (ES) and electrographic status epilepticus (ESE) are common in critically ill children. We aimed to determine whether ES and ESE are associated with higher mortality or worse short-term neurologic outcome.
Prospective observational study.
Pediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary children’s hospital.
Non-neonatal children admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) with acute encephalopathy underwent continuous electroencephalographic (cEEG) monitoring. EEGs were scored as (1) no seizures, (2) ES, or (3) ESE. Covariates included age, acute neurologic disorder category, prior neurodevelopmental status, sex, and EEG background category. Outcomes were mortality and worsening of Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category (PCPC) from pre-admission to PICU discharge. Chi-squared analysis, Fisher’s exact test, and multivariable logistic regression were used to evaluate the associations between ES or ESE and mortality or short-term neurologic outcome, using odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI).
Two hundred children underwent cEEG. Eighty-four (42%) had seizures which were categorized as ES in 41 (20.5%) and ESE in 43 (21.5%). Thirty-six subjects (18%) died and 88 subjects (44%) had PCPC worsening. In multivariable analysis ESE was associated with an increased risk of mortality (OR 5.1; 95%CI 1.4, 18, p=0.01) and PCPC worsening (OR 17.3; 95%CI 3.7, 80, p<0.001) while ES was not associated with an increased risk of mortality (OR 1.3; 95%CI 0.3, 5.1; p=0.74) or PCPC worsening (OR 1.2; 95%CI 0.4, 3.9; p=0.77).
ESE, but not ES, is associated with mortality and worse short-term neurologic outcome in critically ill children with acute encephalopathy.
EEG Monitoring; Seizure; Status Epilepticus; Pediatric; Outcome; Non-Convulsive Seizure
Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is becoming standard of care in newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). The prognostic value of the EEG and the incidence of seizures during TH are uncertain.
To describe evolution of EEG background and incidence of seizures during TH, and to identify EEG patterns predictive for MRI brain injury.
A total of 41 newborns with HIE underwent TH. Continuous video-EEG was performed during hypothermia and rewarming. EEG background and seizures were reported in a standardized manner. Newborns underwent MRI after rewarming. Sensitivity and specificity of EEG background for moderate to severe MRI brain injury was assessed at 6-hour intervals during TH and rewarming.
EEG background improved in 49%, remained the same in 38%, and worsened in 13%. A normal EEG had a specificity of 100% upon initiation of monitoring and 93% at later time points. Burst suppression and extremely low voltage patterns held the greatest prognostic value only after 24 hours of monitoring, with a specificity of 81% at the beginning of cooling and 100% at later time points. A discontinuous pattern was not associated with adverse outcome in most patients (73%). Electrographic seizures occurred in 34% (14/41), and 10% (4/41) developed status epilepticus. Seizures had a clinical correlate in 57% (8/14) and were subclinical in 43% (6/14).
Continuous video-EEG monitoring in newborns with HIE undergoing TH provides prognostic information about early MRI outcome and accurately identifies electrographic seizures, nearly half of which are subclinical.
Survey data indicate that continuous EEG (CEEG) monitoring is used with increasing frequency to identify electrographic seizures in critically ill children, but studies of current CEEG practice have not been conducted. We aimed to describe the clinical utilization of CEEG in critically ill children at tertiary care hospitals with a particular focus on variables essential for designing feasible prospective multi-center studies evaluating the impact of electrographic seizures on outcome.
Eleven North American centers retrospectively enrolled 550 consecutive critically ill children who underwent CEEG. We collected data regarding subject characteristics, CEEG indications, and CEEG findings.
CEEG indications were encephalopathy with possible seizures in 67% of subjects, event characterization in 38% of subjects, and management of refractory status epilepticus in 11% of subjects. CEEG was initiated outside routine work hours in 47% of subjects. CEEG duration was <12 hours in 16%, 12-24 hours in 34%, and >24 hours in 48%. Substantial variability existed among sites in CEEG indications and neurologic diagnoses, yet within each acute neurologic diagnosis category a similar proportion of subjects at each site had electrographic seizures. Electrographic seizure characteristics including distribution and duration varied across sites and neurologic diagnoses.
These data provide a systematic assessment of recent CEEG use in critically ill children and indicate variability in practice. The results suggest that multi-center studies are feasible if CEEG monitoring pathways can be standardized. However, the data also indicate that electrographic seizure variability must be considered when designing studies addressing the impact of electrographic seizures on outcome.
EEG Monitoring; Seizure; Status Epilepticus; Pediatric; Non-Convulsive Seizure
To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of 2 quantitative EEG display tools, color density spectral array (CDSA) and amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG), for seizure identification in the intensive care unit (ICU).
A set of 27 continuous EEG recordings performed in pediatric ICU patients was transformed into 8-channel CDSA and aEEG displays. Three neurophysiologists underwent 2 hours of training to identify seizures using these techniques. They were then individually presented with a series of CDSA and aEEG displays, blinded to the raw EEG, and asked to mark any events suspected to be seizures. Their performance was compared to seizures identified on the underlying conventional EEG.
The 27 EEG recordings contained 553 discrete seizures over 487 hours. The median sensitivity for seizure identification across all recordings was 83.3% using CDSA and 81.5% using aEEG. However, among individual recordings, the sensitivity ranged from 0% to 100%. Factors reducing the sensitivity included low-amplitude, short, and focal seizures. False-positive rates were generally very low, with misidentified seizures occurring once every 17–20 hours.
Both CDSA and aEEG demonstrate acceptable sensitivity and false-positive rates for seizure identification among critically ill children. Accuracy of these tools would likely improve during clinical use, when findings can be correlated in real-time with the underlying raw EEG. In the hands of neurophysiologists, CDSA and aEEG displays represent useful screening tools for seizures during continuous EEG monitoring in the ICU. The suitability of these tools for bedside use by ICU nurses and physicians requires further study.
= amplitude-integrated EEG;
= color density spectral array;
= fast-Fourier transformation;
= intensive care unit.
Acute seizures are a common cause of paediatric admissions to hospitals in resource poor countries and a risk factor for neurological and cognitive impairment and epilepsy. We determined the incidence, aetiological factors and the immediate outcome of seizures in a rural malaria endemic area in coastal Kenya.
We recruited all children with and without seizures, aged 0–13 years and admitted to Kilifi District hospital over 2 years from 1st December 2004 to 30th November 2006. Only incident admissions from a defined area were included. Patients with epilepsy were excluded. The population denominator, the number of children in the community on 30th November 2005 (study midpoint), was modelled from a census data.
Seizures were reported in 900/4,921(18.3%) incident admissions and at least 98 had status epilepticus. The incidence of acute seizures in children 0–13 years was 425 (95%CI 386, 466) per 100,000/year and was 879 (95%CI 795, 968) per 100,000/year in children <5 years. This incidence data may however be an underestimate of the true incidence in the community. Over 80% of the seizures were associated with infections. Neonatal infections (28/43 [65.1%]) and falciparum malaria (476/821 [58.0%]) were the main diseases associated with seizures in neonates and in children six months or older respectively. Falciparum malaria was also the main illness (56/98 [57.1%]) associated with status epilepticus. Other illnesses associated with seizures included pyogenic meningitis, respiratory tract infections and gastroenteritis. Twenty-eight children (3.1%) with seizures died and 11 surviving children (1.3%) had gross neurological deficits on discharge. Status epilepticus, focal seizures, coma, metabolic acidosis, bacteraemia, and pyogenic meningitis were independently associated with mortality; while status epilepticus, hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy and pyogenic meningitis were independently associated with neurological deficits on discharge.
There is a high incidence of acute seizures in children living in this malaria endemic area of Kenya. The most important causes are diseases that are preventable with available public health programs.
To define the incidence of and explore risk factors for seizures and epilepsy in children with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Prospective cohort study.
Three tertiary care pediatric hospitals.
Seventy-three pediatric subjects with spontaneous ICH including 20 perinatal (≥37 weeks gestation to 28 days) and 53 childhood subjects (>28 days to <18 years at presentation).
Main outcome measures
Acute symptomatic seizures (clinically evident and electrographic-only within 7 days), remote symptomatic seizures, and epilepsy.
Acute symptomatic seizures occurred in 35 subjects (48%). Acute symptomatic seizures as a presenting symptom of ICH occurred in 12 (60%) perinatal and 19 (36%) childhood subjects, P=.07. Acute symptomatic seizures after presentation occurred in 7 children. Electrographic-only seizures were present in 9/32 (28%) with continuous EEG monitoring. One-and two-year remote symptomatic seizure-free survival were 82% (95% CI 68%–90%) and 67% (95% CI 46%–82%), respectively. One- and two-year epilepsy-free survival were 96% (95% CI 83%–99%) and 87% (95% CI 65%–95%), respectively. Elevated intracranial pressure requiring acute intervention was a risk factor for acute seizures after presentation, remote symptomatic seizures, and epilepsy (P=.014, P=.025 and P=.0365, respectively log-rank test).
Presenting seizures are common in perinatal and childhood ICH. Continuous EEG may detect electrographic seizures in some subjects. Single remote symptomatic seizures occur in many, and development of epilepsy is estimated to occur in 13% at two-years. Elevated intracranial pressure requiring acute intervention is a risk factor for acute seizures after presentation, remote symptomatic seizures, and epilepsy.
There has been a dramatic change in hospital care of cardiac arrest survivors in recent years, including the use of target temperature management (hypothermia). Clinical signs of recovery or deterioration, which previously could be observed, are now concealed by sedation, analgesia, and muscle paralysis. Seizures are common after cardiac arrest, but few centers can offer high-quality electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring around the clock. This is due primarily to its complexity and lack of resources but also to uncertainty regarding the clinical value of monitoring EEG and of treating post-ischemic electrographic seizures. Thanks to technical advances in recent years, EEG monitoring has become more available. Large amounts of EEG data can be linked within a hospital or between neighboring hospitals for expert opinion. Continuous EEG (cEEG) monitoring provides dynamic information and can be used to assess the evolution of EEG patterns and to detect seizures. cEEG can be made more simple by reducing the number of electrodes and by adding trend analysis to the original EEG curves. In our version of simplified cEEG, we combine a reduced montage, displaying two channels of the original EEG, with amplitude-integrated EEG trend curves (aEEG). This is a convenient method to monitor cerebral function in comatose patients after cardiac arrest but has yet to be validated against the gold standard, a multichannel cEEG. We recently proposed a simplified system for interpreting EEG rhythms after cardiac arrest, defining four major EEG patterns. In this topical review, we will discuss cEEG to monitor brain function after cardiac arrest in general and how a simplified cEEG, with a reduced number of electrodes and trend analysis, may facilitate and improve care.
Electrographic seizures (ES) and electrographic status epilepticus (ESE) are common in encephalopathic children in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and associated with worse short-term outcome. Survey data indicate most physicians treat ES and ESE with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), but few data are available regarding AED usage patterns. We aimed to describe AED usage for ES and ESE in critically ill children.
We performed an observational study of patients who underwent continuous electroencephalographic (cEEG) monitoring in the PICU of a single quaternary care children’s hospital. We collected data regarding age, clinical diagnoses, ES and ESE occurrence, and AEDs utilized.
200 subjects underwent cEEG. ES occurred in 21% (41/200) and ESE occurred in 22% (43/200). Of the 84 patients with ES or ESE, 80 received non-benzodiazepine AEDs including 48% (38 of 80) with ES and 52% (42 of 80) with ESE. The most commonly administered first AEDs were levetiracetam in 38% (30/80), phenobarbital in 31% (25/80), phenytoin-fosphenytoin in 28% (22/80), and valproate in 4% (3/80). Seizures terminated after administration of the first AED in 74% (28/38) with ES and 22% (9/41) with ESE.
Levetiracetam, phenobarbital, and phenytoin-fosphenytoin are commonly used to manage ES and ESE at our center. Over half of subjects received multiple AEDs.
Seizure; Status Epilepticus; Pediatric; Critically Ill; Electroencephalogram; Anticonvulsant; Phenytoin; Fosphenytoin; Phenobarbital; Levetiracetam
Non-convulsive seizures/status epilepticus occur in approximately 20% of comatose, non-cardiac arrest intensive care unit (ICU) patients, and are associated with increased mortality. The prevalence and clinical significance of seizures in comatose survivors of cardiac arrest undergoing therapeutic hypothermia is not well described.
At this urban level I trauma center, every patient undergoing therapeutic hypothermia is monitored with continuous video encephalography (cvEEG). We abstracted medical records for all cardiac arrest patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia during 2010. Clinical data were extracted in duplicate. cvEEGs were independently reviewed for seizures by two board-certified epileptologists.
There were 33 patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest in 2010 who met inclusion criteria for this study. Median age was 58 (range 28–86 years), 63% were white, 55% were male, and 9% had a history of seizures or epilepsy. During cooling, seizures occurred in 5/33 patients (15%, 95%CI 6%–33%). 11/33 patients (33%, 95% CI 19%–52%) had seizures at some time during hospitalization. 13/33 (39%) survived to discharge and of these, 7/13 (54%) survived to 30 days. 9/11 patients with seizures died during hospitalization, compared with 11/22 patients without seizures (82% vs. 50%; difference 32%, CI951%–63%). No patient with seizures was alive at 30 days.
Seizures are common in comatose patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest. All patients with seizures were deceased within 30 days of discharge. Routine use of EEG monitoring could assist in early detection of seizures in this patient population, providing an opportunity for intervention to potentially improve outcomes.
Non-convulsive seizures; Seizures; Therapeutic hypothermia; Continuous EEG; Cardiac arrest
Electroencephalographic (EEG) status epilepticus is described in 10 to 35% of patients with postanoxic encephalopathy after successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is associated with case fatality rates of 90 to 100%. It is unclear whether these EEG patterns represent a condition to be treated with anticonvulsants to improve outcome, or an expression of severe ischemic damage, in which treatment is futile.
TELSTAR is a multicenter clinical trial with two parallel groups, randomized treatment allocation, open label treatment, and blinded endpoint evaluation (PROBE design). We aim to enroll 172 adult patients with postanoxic encephalopathy and electroencephalographic status epilepticus after successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation, admitted to the ICU, in whom continuous EEG monitoring is started within 24 hours after admission. Patients are randomly assigned to either medical treatment to suppress all electrographic seizure activity, or no treatment of electroencephalographic status epilepticus. Antiepileptic treatment is based on guidelines for treatment of overt status epilepticus and is started within 3 hours after the diagnosis. If status epilepticus returns during tapering of sedative medication after suppression of all epileptiform activity for 2 × 24 hours, it will be considered refractory. The primary outcome measure is neurological outcome defined as the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) score at 3 months, dichotomized into ‘good’ (CPC 1 to 2 = no or moderate neurological disability) and ‘poor’ (CPC 3 to 5 = severe disability, coma, or death). Secondary outcome measures include mortality and, for patients surviving up to 12 months, cognitive functioning, health related quality of life, and depression.
Clinicaltrials.gov; NCT02056236. Date of registration: 4 February 2014.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Postanoxic encephalopathy; Electroencephalography; Status epilepticus; Generalized periodic discharges; Anticonvulsants; Randomized controlled trial; Neurological outcome