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Electrophysiologic Monitoring in the Intensive Care Unit

     Rosamund A. Hill and Keith H. Chiappa

Abstract:   Electroencephalography (EEG) and evoked potential studies are established monitoring tools in the neurological intensive care unit (ICU). These neurophysiologic techniques provide information on physiological state and response to therapy, and may aid diagnosis and prognosis. Serial studies or continuous monitoring may enable changes to be detected prior to irreversible deterioration in the patient's condition. Current computer technology allows simultaneous display and correlation of electrophysiologic parameters, cardiovascular state and intracranial pressure (ICP). Continuous EEG monitoring in the ICU has been shown to have a decisive or contributing impact on medical decision making in more than three-quarters of patients. In addition, continuous EEG monitoring has revealed previously unsuspected non-convulsive seizures in one-third of patients. SEPs and BAEPs can provide useful prognostic information in coma however, these tests are etiologically nonspecific and must be carefully integrated into the clinical situation. Motor evoked potentials offer a potentially useful tool for evaluating motor system abnormalities in the ICU.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1994; 21: S12-S16

 


 
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