Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 3 of 3 items for

  • Author or Editor: Eva K. Ritzl x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access

Brin Freund, John C. Probasco and Eva K. Ritzl

OBJECTIVE

Delay in diagnosis and subsequent treatment of nonconvulsive seizures can lead to worsened outcomes. The gold standard in detecting nonconvulsive seizures is continuous video-electroencephalography (cEEG). Compared to routine, 30-minute EEG, the use of cEEG increases the likelihood of capturing intermittent nonconvulsive seizures. Studies of critically ill patients in intensive care units demonstrate a particularly high rate of nonconvulsive seizures. Some of these studies included postneurosurgical patients, but often subanalyses of specific populations were not done. In particular, few studies have specifically evaluated postneurosurgical patients by using cEEG in the acute postoperative setting. Therefore, the incidence and predictors of acute postneurosurgical seizures are unclear.

METHODS

In this study, the authors focused on patients who were admitted to the neurological critical care unit following neurosurgery and who underwent cEEG monitoring within 72 hours of surgery.

RESULTS

A total of 105 cEEG studies were performed in 102 patients. Twenty-nine patients demonstrated electrographic (subclinical) seizures, of whom 10 had clinical seizures clearly documented either before or during cEEG monitoring. Twenty-two patients had subclinical seizures only detected on cEEG, 19 of whom did not have clinical seizure activity at any point during hospitalization. Those with seizures were more likely to have had a history of epilepsy (p = 0.006). The EEG studies of patients with seizures were more likely to show lateralized periodic discharges (p = 0.012) and lateralized rhythmic delta activity (p = 0.012). The underlying neuropathological disorders most associated with seizure risk were lobar tumor on presentation (p = 0.048), subdural hematoma (SDH) requiring craniotomy for evacuation (p = 0.002), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (p = 0.026), and perioperative SAH (p = 0.019). In those undergoing craniotomy, the presence of SDH (p = 0.032), particularly if requiring evacuation (p = 0.003), increased the risk of seizures. In those without preoperative intracranial bleeding, perioperative SAH after craniotomy was associated with a higher incidence of seizures (p = 0.014). There was an additive effect on seizure incidence when perioperative SAH as well as concomitant intraparenchymal hemorrhage and/or stroke were present. The clinical examination of the patient, including the presence or absence of altered mental status and the presence or absence of repetitive movements, was not predictive of subclinical seizures.

CONCLUSIONS

In postneurosurgical patients referred for cEEG monitoring, there is a high rate of both clinical and subclinical seizures in the early postoperative period. Seizures are particularly common in patients with SDH or lobar tumor and perioperative SAH. There was an additive effect on seizure incidence when more extensive brain injury was present. As expected, those with a history of epilepsy also demonstrated higher seizure rates. Further studies are needed to evaluate the time period of maximum seizure incidence after surgery, and the effects acute postneurosurgical seizures have on long-term outcomes.

Restricted access

Brin Freund, John C. Probasco and Eva K. Ritzl

OBJECTIVE

Delay in diagnosis and subsequent treatment of nonconvulsive seizures can lead to worsened outcomes. The gold standard in detecting nonconvulsive seizures is continuous video-electroencephalography (cEEG). Compared to routine, 30-minute EEG, the use of cEEG increases the likelihood of capturing intermittent nonconvulsive seizures. Studies of critically ill patients in intensive care units demonstrate a particularly high rate of nonconvulsive seizures. Some of these studies included postneurosurgical patients, but often subanalyses of specific populations were not done. In particular, few studies have specifically evaluated postneurosurgical patients by using cEEG in the acute postoperative setting. Therefore, the incidence and predictors of acute postneurosurgical seizures are unclear.

METHODS

In this study, the authors focused on patients who were admitted to the neurological critical care unit following neurosurgery and who underwent cEEG monitoring within 72 hours of surgery.

RESULTS

A total of 105 cEEG studies were performed in 102 patients. Twenty-nine patients demonstrated electrographic (subclinical) seizures, of whom 10 had clinical seizures clearly documented either before or during cEEG monitoring. Twenty-two patients had subclinical seizures only detected on cEEG, 19 of whom did not have clinical seizure activity at any point during hospitalization. Those with seizures were more likely to have had a history of epilepsy (p = 0.006). The EEG studies of patients with seizures were more likely to show lateralized periodic discharges (p = 0.012) and lateralized rhythmic delta activity (p = 0.012). The underlying neuropathological disorders most associated with seizure risk were lobar tumor on presentation (p = 0.048), subdural hematoma (SDH) requiring craniotomy for evacuation (p = 0.002), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (p = 0.026), and perioperative SAH (p = 0.019). In those undergoing craniotomy, the presence of SDH (p = 0.032), particularly if requiring evacuation (p = 0.003), increased the risk of seizures. In those without preoperative intracranial bleeding, perioperative SAH after craniotomy was associated with a higher incidence of seizures (p = 0.014). There was an additive effect on seizure incidence when perioperative SAH as well as concomitant intraparenchymal hemorrhage and/or stroke were present. The clinical examination of the patient, including the presence or absence of altered mental status and the presence or absence of repetitive movements, was not predictive of subclinical seizures.

CONCLUSIONS

In postneurosurgical patients referred for cEEG monitoring, there is a high rate of both clinical and subclinical seizures in the early postoperative period. Seizures are particularly common in patients with SDH or lobar tumor and perioperative SAH. There was an additive effect on seizure incidence when more extensive brain injury was present. As expected, those with a history of epilepsy also demonstrated higher seizure rates. Further studies are needed to evaluate the time period of maximum seizure incidence after surgery, and the effects acute postneurosurgical seizures have on long-term outcomes.

Restricted access

Gang Wu, Allan Belzberg, Jessica Nance, Sergio Gutierrez-Hernandez, Eva K. Ritzl and Matthias Ringkamp

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative nerve action potential (NAP) recording is a useful tool for surgeons to guide decisions on surgical approaches during nerve repair surgeries. However, current methods remain technically challenging. In particular, stimulus artifacts that contaminate or mask the NAP and therefore impair the interpretation of the recording are a common problem. The authors’ goal was to improve intraoperative NAP recording techniques by revisiting the methods in an experimental setting.

METHODS

First, NAPs were recorded from surgically exposed peripheral nerves in monkeys. For the authors to test their assumptions about observed artifacts, they then employed a simple model system. Finally, they applied their insights to clinical cases in the operating room.

RESULTS

In monkey peripheral nerve recordings, large stimulus artifacts obscured NAPs every time the nerve segment (length 3–5 cm) was lifted up from the surrounding tissue, and NAPs could not be recorded. Artifacts were suppressed, and NAPs emerged when “bridge grounding” was applied, and this allowed the NAPs to be recorded easily and reliably. Tests in a model system suggested that exaggerated stimulus artifacts and unmasking of NAPs by bridge grounding are related to a loop effect that is created by lifting the nerve. Consequently, clean NAPs were acquired in “nonlifting” recordings from monkey peripheral nerves. In clinical cases, bridge grounding efficiently unmasked intraoperative NAP recordings, validating the authors’ principal concept in the clinical setting and allowing effective neurophysiological testing in the operating room.

CONCLUSIONS

Technical challenges of intraoperative NAP recording are embedded in the current methods that recommend lifting the nerve from the tissue bed, thereby exaggerating stimulus artifacts by a loop effect. Better results can be achieved by performing nonlifting nerve recording or by applying bridge grounding. The authors not only tested their findings in an animal model but also applied them successfully in clinical practice.