The reliability of quantitative electroencephalography as an indicator of cerebral ischemia

D. C. Adams, E. J. Heyer, R. G. Emerson, J. R. Moeller, H. M. Spotnitz, D. H. Smith, E. Delphin, C. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The electroencephalogram (EEG) has been used to detect episodes of cerebral ischemia during various surgical procedures. Recently, computerized system for recording and interpreting the quantitative EEG (QEEG) have been used by anesthesiologists because of their ease of application, clarity of display, and reported ability to identify ischemic EEG changes. However, the extent to which automated techniques of QEEG interpretation reliably differentiate cerebral ischemia from the confounding effects of anesthetics and other sources of 'artifact' is not completely established. In this study, EEGs were recorded before and after defibrillator testing in patients undergoing implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) placement and during analogous time periods in control patients undergoing abdominal surgery. EEGs were subjected to standard visual inspection by an experienced electroencephalographer and QEEG analysis with a commercially available system was used for automated EEG interpretation in order to evaluate the reliability of this quantitative technique. The CIMON technique identified episodes which met previously defined criteria for QEEG cerebral dysfunction and ischemic pattern in both groups, despite the presumed absence of cerebral ischemia in the control patients. Since there was no evidence of cerebral ischemia in the raw EEGs of either the ICD patients or the controls, these QEEG changes were not confirmed by conventional techniques of EEG interpretation. Our results suggest that caution is warranted when using automated systems for intraoperative interpretation of EEG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-83
Number of pages4
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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