Background: Electroencephalography (EEG) is widely used to assess neurological prognosis in patients who are comatose after cardiac arrest, but its value is limited by varying definitions of pathological patterns and by inter-rater variability. The American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (ACNS) has recently proposed a standardized EEG-terminology for critical care to address these limitations.
Methods/design: In the TTM-trial, 399 post cardiac arrest patients who remained comatose after rewarming underwent a routine EEG. The presence of clinical seizures, use of sedatives and antiepileptic drugs during the EEG-registration were prospectively documented.
Discussion: A well-defined terminology for interpreting post cardiac arrest EEGs is critical for the use of EEG as a prognostic tool.
Trial registration: The TTM-trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01020916).