Objectives: To assess the effect of continuous electroencephalographic monitoring on the decision to treat seizures in the inpatient setting, particularly in the intensive care unit.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: Medical and neuroscience intensive care units and neurological wards.
Patients: Three hundred consecutive nonelective continuous electroencephalographic monitoring studies, performed on 287 individual inpatients over a 27-month period.
Main outcome measures: Epileptiform electroencephalographic abnormalities and changes in antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy based on the electroencephalographic findings.
Results: The findings from the continuous electroencephalographic monitoring led to a change in AED prescribing in 52% of all studies with initiation of an AED therapy in 14%, modification of AED therapy in 33%, and discontinuation of AED therapy in 5% of all studies. Specifically, the detection of electrographic seizures led to a change in AED therapy in 28% of all studies.
Conclusions: The findings of continuous electroencephalographic monitoring resulted in a change in AED prescribing during or after half of the studies performed. Most AED changes were made as a result of the detection of electrographic seizures.