Good functional outcomes after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) are often dependent on early detection and treatment of cerebral vasospasm (CVS) and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI). There is growing evidence that continuous monitoring with cranial electroencephalography (cEEG) can predict CVS and DCI. Therefore, the authors sought to assess the value of continuous cEEG monitoring for the detection of CVS and DCI in aSAH.
The cerebrovascular database of a quaternary center was reviewed for patients with aSAH and cEEG monitoring between January 1, 2017, and July 31, 2019. Demographic data, cardiovascular risk factors, Glasgow Coma Scale score at admission, aneurysm characteristics, and outcomes were abstracted from the medical record. Patient data were retrospectively analyzed for DCI and angiographically assessed CVS. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and odds ratio for cEEG, transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCDS), CTA, and DSA in detecting DCI and angiographic CVS were calculated. A systematic literature review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines querying the PubMed, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Web of Science, and Embase databases.
A total of 77 patients (mean age 60 years [SD 15 years]; female sex, n = 54) were included in the study. Continuous cEEG monitoring detected DCI and angiographically assessed CVS with specificities of 82.9% (95% CI 66.4%–93.4%) and 94.4% (95% CI 72.7%–99.9%), respectively. The sensitivities were 11.1% (95% CI 3.1%–26.1%) for DCI (n = 71) and 18.8% (95% CI 7.2%–36.4%) for angiographically assessed CVS (n = 50). Furthermore, TCDS detected angiographically determined CVS with a sensitivity of 87.5% (95% CI 71.0%–96.5%) and specificity of 25.0% (95% CI 7.3%–52.4%). In patients with DCI, TCDS detected vasospasm with a sensitivity of 85.7% (95% CI 69.7%–95.2%) and a specificity of 18.8% (95% CI 7.2%–36.4%). DSA detected vasospasm with a sensitivity of 73.9% (95% CI 51.6%–89.8%) and a specificity of 47.8% (95% CI 26.8%–69.4%).
The study results suggest that continuous cEEG monitoring is highly specific in detecting DCI as well as angiographically assessed CVS. More prospective studies with predetermined thresholds and endpoints are needed to assess the predictive role of cEEG in aSAH.