The utility of EEG, SSEP, and other neurophysiologic tools to guide neurocritical care

Neurotherapeutics. 2012 Jan;9(1):24-36. doi: 10.1007/s13311-011-0101-x.


Neuromonitoring is an emerging field that aims to characterize real-time neurophysiology to tailor therapy for acute injuries of the central nervous system. While cardiac telemetry has been used for decades among patients requiring critical care of all kinds, neurophysiology and neurotelemetry has only recently emerged as a routine screening tool in comatose patients. The increasing utilization of electroencephalography in comatose patients is primarily due to the recognition of the common occurrence of nonconvulsive seizures among comatose patients, the development of quantitative measures to detect regional ischemia, and the appreciation of electroencephalography phenotypes that indicate prognosis after cardiac arrest. Other neuromonitoring tools, such as somatosensory evoked potentials have a complementary role, surveying the integrity of the neuroaxis as an indicator of prognosis or illness progression in both acute brain and spinal injuries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Central Nervous System Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System Diseases* / therapy
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Neurophysiology / methods*